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Wallonia lengthens wild boar hunting season

14:51 26/11/2023

Wallonia is continuing its drive to reduce the population of wild boar, which are seen as detrimental to the landscape and agriculture.

The Walloon regional government has launched several new measures to combat wild boar overpopulation, notably an extension of the hunting season for boar and some types of deer until 20 February for the 2023-2024 season and to 31 January for the 2024-2025 season.

“The extension of the hunting period is a coherent measure to enable all ways of achieving the aims of the shooting plans and to therefore combat the proliferation of wild boar,” Wallonia’s hunting minister Willy Borsus said.

Additional drives may be organised at the end of the hunting season if shooting targets have not been met and if the wild boar situation is seen to be detrimental to agricultural crops or lead to increased health risks, Borsus said.

Wallonia’s government has adopted several provisions, currently being examined by the Council of State, to stop the expansion of this species – that Belgian officials have also said could pass on swine flu to humans.

The wild boar reduction strategy includes plans for voluntary shooting set with 23 councils that aim to kill 23,481 wild boar, including 7,206 sows weighing more than 30kg.

Although some 91,915 boar have been killed since 2019, for Borsus, wild boar overpopulation is a “major problem in Wallonia”.

Other measures announced by the minister include authorising night shooting of wild boar on plains if strict conditions are met.

Setting traps will also be allowed in places where hunting is difficult. This is especially true in areas that are more rural or situated north of the Sambre-et-Meuse region, where wild boar are especially active.

Further action may follow as a result of the evaluation that will be carried out on the results of all wild boar-reducing measures, the minister added. In addition, the study will assess the damage the animals may cause, especially to agriculture.

Written by Liz Newmark