A panel of the Environment Ministry this week held its first meeting to discuss measures to stem damage to crops from wild boars and deer, estimated to be around 23 billion yen a year.
Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara told a news conference Monday that he was appalled to see the extent of damage being caused by the animals. "If we do not address this problem with an adequate response, we will be unable to prevent further damage," he said, TBS reported.
In recent years, the wild boar and deer populations have exploded in and around urban areas leading to an increased number of attacks on people, and agricultural damage. The environment ministry says the most devastated areas are in Hokkaido and Nagano prefectures.
Among the measures being considered are a revision to current wildlife hunting laws, including the use of hunting rifles during night-time hours. Following the implementation of the new hunting laws, the ministry is aiming to halve the overall population of wild boars and deer by the end of 2015.© Japan Today