Terrain where hunting is permitted in the Flemish region takes up more than 30% of the area of the whole country, according to a calculation by the region’s hunting association.
The Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen, named after St Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, calculated that in the year from 2021-2022, according to the latest plans, 7,022 hectares of hunting grounds will be removed from the map on the initiative of hunters themselves. At the same time, 2,846 ha will be added, making a net loss of 4,177 ha.
Flanders will then have, the association calculates, a total of 928,486 ha of hunting ground. The entire state of Belgium measures 3,068,900 ha, meaning the hunting land makes up about 0.30, or 30%, of the country’s total land area.
The calculations, the association claims, demonstrate ‘tangible support’ for the idea of wildlife control as a way of life.
“Hubertus Vereniging Vlaanderen has been working for several years on hunting plans that are as efficient as possible,” said director Geert Van den Bosch.
“We make those plans available online to all citizens, with contact details of the hunting groups involved for any questions. And we are continuously adapting it to the changing reality.”
In total, the sector scrapped 4,463 hectares on its own initiative.
“That exercise will also be resumed in the coming years, so that in the long run the rights of both the game management sector and the landowners are respected and clearly defined,” Van den Bosch said.