Poaching on the rise in the Netherlands; Deer, hare popular targets

Poaching is becoming increasingly common in the Netherlands, with about 90 percent of wildlife watchers having encountered wildlife poaching in the past two years. Nearly half have experienced multiple incidents of the illegal shooting of wild animals. Deer and hare are particularly popular targets, Het Misdaadbureau reported after surveying members of the Dutch Association of Nature Surveillance.

Sixty percent of the watchers believe that poaching has increased over the past few years. More than 50 percent think that is because the chance of being caught is too low. Ninety percent said there is not enough capacity to fight wildlife poaching.

Sixty percent of wildlife watchers worry about their safety in outlying areas due to poachers and drug criminals dumping waste. Forty percent think they’ll feel safer if they are allowed to carry a firearm, according to the program.

Staatbosbeheer confirmed to the NPO Radio 1 program that poaching is challenging to tackle. The state forestry service encountered almost 100 cases of poaching last year but filed only one official report with the police and issued four warnings.

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