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They destroy crops, eat up animal feed. Belgian farmers are struggling with an infestation of crows

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Crows attack crops en masse in some regions of Belgium. This puts farmers in a difficult position – it is difficult to effectively protect fields from voracious birds, as they are protected by species.

Crows feel comfortable in the company of humans and often live near human settlements. It very often becomes a problem for local residents. This is also the case in Belgium, where these clever birds cause enormous damage to farms.

The bird population continues to growENEX

They pick up plants from the roots

In the Hesbaye region, farmers speak of the plague of crows. It is estimated that 100 hectares of crops have been destroyed by animals so far, and the situation is getting worse every year. According to Jules, the owner of a farm in Liernu, the birds are particularly fond of the seedlings.

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“Here they attacked the corn kernel next to the root,” he explains, showing the damaged plant. – We pay for everything: seeds, fertilizers, cleaning work in the fields, and we will still have to buy animal feed from external suppliers. This is a disaster.

Occasionally, crows will eat up their forage. The farmer estimates that the birds devoured or damaged one sixth of the crop, and the losses cost him at least several thousand euros. In Hesbaye alone, about 30 farms are affected by this problem.

Crows also like animal feedENEX

Half a year to solve the case

In Belgium, the corvids are protected and the control of their population size requires an individual permit from the Belgian Department of Nature and Forests (DNF). The waiting time for a permit is over six months, which irritates farmers and hunters.

– In this matter, you have to appeal to the minister of the environment – says Bernard Debouche from the regional Hunting Council.

Farm owners are tired of waiting for permits. Jules intends to contact other people in a similar situation and take legal action.

– It is a really serious matter when such damage is caused at a time when people are threatened with food shortages – appeals the farmer. – Without changing the regulations, we will face a real invasion in a few years.

Main photo source: ENEX



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