This Saturday and Sunday, 70 coastal towns are surveyed by hunters to raise wild boars. Farmers have been warning for several years about their proliferation and the damage caused to their crops and livestock. The sectors of Calais, Boulogne-sur-mer, Montreuil and Saint-Omer are concerned.
Attractive climate and hunting
Several phenomena could explain the profusion of wild boar on the coast. “Last year the oaks produced many acorns, specifies Pierre-André Masset the president of the farmers hunters section at the FDSEA of Pas-de-Calais. The wild boars were able to eat well and therefore reproduce well.”
Another factor is that temperatures have remained mild in recent winters. Most of the piglets were able to survive, which increased the herd. “And the hunters feed them. Some have an interest in multiplying the boars, they will make money from it.”
Four times more damage in four years
According to the Departmental Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FDSEA) of Pas-de-Calais, “there is an explosion of degradation. In four years, the ravages produced by wild boars have quadrupled.” So in the Boulonnais, farmers no longer hide their fed up.
For three years it’s been a disaster
Gérald Cazin has been a farmer for 20 years in Alincthun. Wild boars have always done damage to these plots but in a limited way, 100 to 200 square meters per year. “But for three years it’s been a disaster, I lose at least 3 to 5 ha per year, laments Gérald Cazin. Me, I’m not a hunter, everyone has their own hobbies but I don’t have to pay for those of othersThis dairy farmer estimates the cost of his losses at around 7,000 euros per year.
Gérald Cazin still fears a deterioration of the situation given that wild boars have no predators in the department. A few kilometers away, in Bournonville, Vincent Bertin, worries about the years to come, “sourcing fodder in the area will become more and more complicated. Our meadows for making hay are destroyed.”
The damage can be declared to the departmental hunting federation which compensates the farmers. But for the agricultural world, “money is not enough“.