Managing the Impact of Raccoons: Action Plan, Awareness, and Regulation

2023-09-05 18:02:36

The scientist is conducting studies to measure the impact of this mammal on sensitive species, such as the tawny owl or the dipper, a bird that makes nests very low in the banks of waterways, easily accessible to raccoons. .

Faced with this proliferation, the Walloon authorities have announced that they are preparing an action plan.

It is an animal that has a good face. Unfortunately invasive alien species […] are one of the top five causes of biodiversity loss globally“, recalls the Walloon Minister for the Environment, Céline Tellier, during an interview in Namur.

It is “raise public awareness with simple gestures: avoid feeding raccoons, protect the entrances to the house at night, a whole series of measures to avoid aggravating the situation“, she indicates.

Today the species is so widespread in our territory that we must learn to live with it, but at the same time learn to manage it in the places where it poses the most problems and avoid multiplying its spread.“, continues the Minister.

When there is “need to destroy certain individuals“Among the raccoons, this must be done”in the most ethical way possible“, underlines the environmental minister, adding that a “reflection is underway with the animal welfare council in Wallonia” about it.

A hunter in the Ciney region, Simon Taviet regularly picks up his raccoon trap. That morning, when he arrives, one of them is stuck in the cage. The young man of 18, armed with a rifle, kills the animal thus trapped.

Their presence is limited because of the diseases they can transmit, and the damage they can cause to crops.“, explains the agronomy and environment student. “They harm native species“, he adds. He himself was bitten on the finger by a raccoon who attacked his dog during a hunt.

For Benoît Petit, president of the Royal Saint-Hubert Club of Belgium, the main association of hunters in the country, “it is time for the Walloon region to organize a raccoon trapping and regulation service“.

A citizen who is fed up, he will trap him, and then? He’s not gonna use a gun, or pay a vet for an injection“, he said. “It is necessary to limit the demographic explosion and the geographical extension“, he pleads.

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