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Brussels Environment raises alarm over animal poaching

07:10 29/02/2024

Two cases of poaching have been recorded in Brussels so far this year, the capital’s environment administrative body Brussels Environment has announced.

Remains of wild animals were found in the Sonian forest and at Elisabeth Park in Koekelberg.

Last month, forest ranger Willy Van de Velde discovered parts of the carcasses of two wild boars and deer remains on the edge of the Sonian Forest in Watermael-Boitsfort.

“I have never seen anything like this in 20 years,” Van de Velde said, adding that cases of poaching remain rare in the region.

“It is clear that traps were set and the wild boars were cut up on the spot,” Brussels Environment spokesperson Pascale Hourman said.

It was the same story two weeks later, when parts of deer and wild boar were found in Elisabeth Park.

The carcasses were analysed in the laboratory. Results were negative for certain key pathogens, but poaching poses grave risks to public health, Brussels Environment has warned.

If there is contact, pathogens can be transmitted to humans and/or animals. Eating potentially contaminated meat can also cause diseases such as trichinosis or tuberculosis.

Poaching is banned in the Brussels region. If cases do not end up in court, poachers can still be fined up to €62,500.

In any event, Brussels Environment advises people not to touch the corpses of wild animals and to report any discoveries.

Written by Liz Newmark