“En August, I took seven stags for rendering and three died afterwards, that is ten strays. In September, I lost four and there they attacked my peacocks”. Paul Payet, who runs a farm in Plaine-des-Cafres can’t take it anymore. During the night from Sunday to Monday, stray dogs decimated his peacocks, seven out of the eight he had. “We are almost at one attack per month, we are all exhausted because I am not the only one. I know another breeder like that, they attacked his rabbit farm just a few days ago.” he relates.
Stray dogs, abandoned or animals belonging to poachers, in the meantime the breeders of the heights organize themselves, make rounds at night, inspect the kilometers of fence and set off together in search of escaped animals. “We started the night rounds again to get to kill the stray dogs because they are sure to come back. This Monday, we checked the fences to see if a poacher had made a hole and we went in search of the deer that fled in the night. They must be in the surrounding fields but I don’t even know if they were bitten because if it gets infected, I would still have losses”he laments.
Insults, threats and the feeling of having to do everything himself
Beyond the financial losses and fatigue, Paul Payet protests against the inaction of the public authorities, who have obviously thrown in the towel on the part of animal wandering. “Nobody is interested anymore, it doesn’t shock anymore and it’s unfortunate because I don’t want it but it’s going to have to be a kid who gets bitten to see a reaction”, he said. “Only the gendarmes are on our side, frankly these guys deserve a medal. The town hall let us down, the municipal police do not talk about it and the Region too, since the 25-hectare park, which is right next to it, has been abandoned since June. People come up here to abandon their dogs and then it comes down to us”repeats Paul Payet.
Because his speech has not changed for years, he is sounding the alarm in general indifference. So much so that he began to receive letters of threats, insults and intimidation for the actions he took to protect his farm. “If we sum up, by killing Paul Payet, we save the lives of 50 dogs a year, many deer and other animals destined for butchery (…) I hope that one day a dog will have the time to kill you. skip the throat”he was able, for example, to read for him on social networks.
Recently, the breeder told us that he had received pseudo letters with a legal and intimidating tone, promising him a future strewn with lawsuits and financial losses. Insults, threats and the feeling of having to do everything himself. In the meantime, he has seen his herd dwindle to 70 breeding animals, a loss of two-thirds of his deer herd in five years. At the height of its activity, it had 190 breeding animals for 120 births a year. “It’s no longer viable for us because the gestation time for a fawn is very long, not to mention waiting for the deer to reach sexual maturity”laments the breeder, whose natural balance of births is now in deficit.