Japanese city encourages hunting animals to protect crops
After 460 million yen of crop damage, Chiba city officials are promoting hunting and preparing and cooking game meat
A school for hunting has been set up in Kimitsu, Japan, to encourage citizens to hunt for a living and at the same time to help farmers.
Wild animals such as boars and deer have been laying siege to crops in the city in the Chiba Prefecture. In addition, the hunting community looks to renew its numbers as many hunters are getting old.
Citizens say it is rare for authorities to provide courses for hunting and preparing game meat, Japan Today reported.
Eisuke Okano, 39, who runs a restaurant in Tokyo, dissected a pheasant in front of 26 students at a local community center and explained the various ways of cooking the fowl.
One of the students, Junichi Nishiba, said it was an unforgettable experience to see an animal become food and the agricultural and industrial perspectives of hunting were also fascinating. Nishiba, 44, is an office worker from Yokohama city.
In the fiscal year of 2017, wild animals caused about 460 million yen (US$4.1 million) of agricultural damage in Kimitsu city, the most in Chiba Prefecture. Authorities captured more than 4,000 deer and boars, but the city did not have enough resources to process the game meat, which ultimately had to be destroyed.
Local authorities will collaborate with a group in Saitama Prefecture to monetize hunting and game meat. Courses that teach hunting and game meat cooking started in April and will carry on until March 2019.
Apart from local citizens, students are also coming from surrounding prefectures and cities. About 30% of the students come from Tokyo and other areas outside Chiba.
The chief clerk of the local agricultural administration, Tadahiro Okamoto, said he would be happy if more people took up hunting in the area and would be delighted to keep offering the courses.