Communes suffering from the presence of wildlife should be able to designate an alderman in charge of hunting after the 14 October local government elections, according to the Flemish hunting association, Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen. These communes need to develop better cooperation between the administration, hunters and local residents, Hubertus recommends.
The association’s director, Geert Van den Bosch, sees the invasive presence of wild boars in the provinces of Antwerp and Limburg as a case in point. “An alderman can help mount actions, coordinate the response to the problem, set priorities, deploy staff and explain certain hunting parties to external audiences,” he argues.
In addition to wild boars, crows and wood pigeons sometimes damage cereal fields as they search for insects for their young ones. Wildlife crossing roads and causing accidents or geese trampling fields could also be issues the alderman for hunting could address.
In the south of the country, most communes have an alderman in charge of forests, whose purview includes hunting. Their communication with hunters goes very well, according to the president of the Royal Saint-Hubert Club of Belgium, Benoît Petit.