French government steps in to help farmers fight rampaging animals

French government steps in to help farmers fight rampaging animals

France – In recent months French farmers have grown furious over an explosion in France’s population of wild boars, which has led to the animals running amok on their land.

But from September 6th, a committee set up by the French government, will be in place to help fight the problems faced by the country’s farmers as a result of these wild animals.

The move comes just days after criticism was levelled at the government by the president of France’s leading farmer’s union the FNSEA, Christine Lambert.

“Today, 90 percent of agricultural damage caused by large game (wild boar but also stags and other deer) to crops and forests are concentrated on 15 percent of the national territory,” said the government, echoing the words of Lambert, adding that the level of damage “has become locally unbearable for agriculture and road safety.”

Lambert believes that more hunting is needed to fight the problem.

“[There are] 700,000 boars killed [per year], but there are four million” in the country, said the boss of the FNSEA on Thursday, adding there is a need for “more hunters, less boars and less damage.”

Among the organisations represented on the committee will be the FNSEA, APCA (agricultural organisation), the National Federation of Hunters, the Federation of Private Foresters, the National Center of Forest ownership (CNPF) and the ONCFS (National Office for Hunting and Wildlife).

So far, one of the measures proposed is the management of hunting plans by departmental hunters’ federations.

Farmers have made it clear that the wild boar problem is one that is growing.

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 29, 2015 shows a group of wild boars during the call of the deer inside the Chambord Estate, central France.
In western France, as everywhere in Europe, farmers suffer from the proliferation of wild boars, which hunters struggle to contain. For thirty years now, the population of the wild boar has exploded in Europe. In France, 700,000 were slaughtered by hunters in 2016-2017, as opposed to 150,000 in 1990-1991, according to the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife

“Every year it gets worse. They destroy everything,” French farmer Yves Rolland told AFP. “The boars come every night, in a pack. They nibble a little bit over here, a little bit over there, trampling on everything.”

“My father never saw boars when he was a farmer. Now we’ve been invaded,” he said.

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