Many Dutch people can enjoy a slice of wild boar meat with Christmas, as wildlife rangers have shot about 3,000 wild boars until mid-December around the Dutch national park De Hoge Veluwe.
Altogether, the shooting yielded approximately 57,500 kg of wild boar meat, a forestry unit announced this week.
The massive shooting and consumption are remarkable as the large number of wild boars has been topic of a public debate for a couple of months.
A relatively warm winter last year created an excessive overpopulation of wild boars around the national park, leading to animals roaming at camping sites, destroying agricultural fields and causing a lot of casualties at roadsides.
Numbers of 6,000 wild boars were counted, where 800 would be the natural average population.
A possible solution to solve the problem, however, caused a heavy debate in Dutch Parliament, where an animal activist party is dominating any animal-related topic.
This autumn, a bill for temporal introduction of wild boar hunt using dogs to chase the animals, caused an outcry with a part of the Dutch population and the use this type of hunting was this week postponed until March 1, 2008.
The 3,000 wild boars, now shot, were killed in a conventional way. For some reason, demand to the wild boar meat is soaring, local butchers admit.
More wild boar meat is to expected as the rangers will go back into the woods next week – and a full moon will light the skies to assist them.