Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

“Our vineyards and our hard work have been destroyed by wild boars and roe deer: we do not intend to stay and watch”.

A.VI.TO., the association that brings together 16 Tuscan Wine Consortiums (for protected designations of origin), is asking the institutions to deal with the number of wild ungulates in the territory.

“The management tools and the abatement efforts implemented according to the special law have proved ineffective in reducing the population of wild boars and roe deers in our territory – explains A.VI.TO. – We are at risk of losing entire years’ productions: it’s a price we are no longer willing to pay, because of the lack of decisions and strong actions by the bodies in charge”.

“It’s not just about the damage to our vines – they highlight – together with the harvest, our work gets destroyed. If the only solution is to enclose our fields so that nobody will be able walk through them, we will do it, and by doing so we’ll destroy the landscape, the natural heritage that the farmers themselves have always helped preserve and protect”.

The Tuscan wine sector counts 22 thousand medium to small companies, two-thirds of which have DOP productions. A total of 60 thousand hectares of vineyards.

The A.VI.TO. consortia association represents companies that have over 20 thousand employees and a turnover of over one billion euros. The certified production of wines in Tuscany represents 20% of the total export in Italy.

“We’re proud of our top-quality products – continues A.VI.TO – We defend them against everything and everyone, but against the ungulates we have no weapons”.

The 2018 situation? “We are at the beginning of the season – explains A.VI.TO. – and the vines are in full growth, if the young shoots are eaten by roe deer, this year’s production will be lost. When the young vines are damaged, the risk is that they will never reach full maturity – and this is a huge loss for us. The damage caused by the ungulates extends to olive groves and other crops too. And not only that, even the woods can be deeply damaged”.

Safety on the road is another problem, which affects everyone: anyone who is driving outside the inhabited areas is likely to find a wild boar or a deer crossing the road. Guests staying in agriturismi are also at risk. It’s good to remember that meeting a female wild boar with her piglets can be quite dangerous if you try to get close to them.

Clearly the current special law hasn’t produced the desired results: “The public authorities concerned – concludes A.VI.TO. – must take action to find solutions and limit the number of ungulates in the territory to a level of sustainability, and completely eliminate them from the cultivated areas”.