Open season on Hiroshima wild boar
In response to increased damage to agriculture caused by inoshishi wild boar, Hiroshima prefectural government is raising its target for the number of animals to be killed by 25%, to over 20,000 a year.
Chuoku Shinbun reports that the higher targets are part of a new Specified Wildlife Conservation and Management Plan (heavy on the management) to combat the increasing cost of crop damage at the snouts of wild boar.
The cost of such damage has been more than 400 million yen annually in recent years. After the long hot summer of 2010 that figure jumped by 28.7% to nearly 600 million. That year over 26,000 boar were killed, 10, 000 more than the current target, which makes the figure sound more like a minimum than a target.
The newspaper reports that frustration on the part of farmers having their hard work destroyed by wild boar contributes to the trend of fewer and fewer people working the land. This in turn leads to more disused farm land which, they say, leads to more boar activity. It is hoped that the new targets combined with continuation of a local hunting season (November 15-February 15) 2 weeks longer than national guidelines will help with this situation.
I guess we can expect to see more inoshishi popping up on restaurant menus.