The intention of the Walloon government is to reduce the wild boar population by 50% before March 1st, 2020. This goal seems achievable, because the wild boar population has already been reduced by 30%. In the area affected by African swine fever (110,000 hectares between Herbeumont and Aubange), it is expected to eradicate wild boars completely to avoid any risk of spreading of the virus.
Last June 6th, the Walloon government expanded the measures aimed at the eradication, implementing them into the new hunting season, that starts on July 1st. This agreement foresees 3 changes:
- The hunters will be able to ask for exceptions regarding the prohibition of hunting, in the nucleus and the buffer areas, species other than wild boars.
- The elimination of wild boars will be carried out by forest rangers and some authorised hunters.
- The surveillance in the nucleus and buffer areas will be strengthened: the aim is to eliminate wild boars completely from these areas before the end of 2019. In order to reach this goal, the authorised hunters are obliged to carry out as many drives as needed (at least two monthly drives in their area) between September 1st and December 31st, 2019. If as of November 1st the Nature and Forests Department (NFD) considers that the results are poor, it will be authorised to organise official drives in that territory.
These very drastic measures contrast with the decision made by the Walloon Minister of Agriculture, Mr René Collin, of reopening to the public some zones of the nucleus and buffer areas since last April 6th.
June 7th, 2019/ Portail de la Wallonie/ Belgium