Corbières: up to 1,400 goats roaming the wild, anger of winegrowers and hunters

The goats and goats of the Taura sheep farm in Saint-Andre-de-Roquelongue are causing more tension than ever between winemakers, hunters and mayors who are affected by the herd’s wanderings.

Last May, Valérie Corbeaux, shepherdess of the 1,000-hectare Taura estate in Saint-Andre-de-Roquelaure, sounded the alarm. And he started an online petition to save the herd of goats and goats he thought were threatened with slaughter. He collected a measly 45,000 signatures to save the goat farm and oppose hostile approaches by winegrowers, hunters and mayors of surrounding municipalities. He claimed emergency exits by moving his goats and goats elsewhere, specifically to the Narbonne sector.

1400 goats were left to fend for themselves and one person

Time has passed. Nothing happened. Now Valery Corbu’s “family” would reach 1400 samples. A figure that cannot be confirmed, because the husbandry is left to its own devices, and one person comes there to manage and especially clean an area without the intention of selling the goats for food or buying milk. coincides with events quickly. As a result, goat demographics in the sector have grown, knowing that goats give birth to kids per year and that feral goats are not separated from females. This is to the anger of grape growers, hunters, and chairmen of surrounding municipalities.

Take the goats by the horns

There is talk of taking the goats by the horns facing this situation, described as “unmanageable”. According to our information, at the beginning of the year, a meeting will be held that will bring together the mayors of the four municipalities, the sub-prefect of Narbonne, even the prefect of Aude, winegrowers, hunters, and winemakers. agriculture and police department. The idea is to move the judicial body to have a legal framework aimed at finding a solution. Knowing all this, all those affected by the presence of unruly goats are urged to file a complaint or at least post a handle.

In addition, several levers have already been activated. Valérie Corbeaux’s breeding farm, which survived thanks to European CAP subsidies, was subjected to inspections and visits. Since the subsidies in question are the only chance of survival in its fold, future solutions may accelerate if the tap is turned off. Or a disaster is declared for the goats.

Product damage, safety…

Various problems arise. First, damage to crops. On Thursday, December 15, a delegation of winegrowers received in the prefecture of Aude did not miss a meeting with the executive representative. The mayor of the municipality of Portel-des-Corbières, which borders Saint-André, confirms. “We all know that the buds eaten in our wine-growing areas will not grow again for two or three years,” emphasizes Bruno Texier. He cites other concerns about the “safety of goods and people” and the risks involved when the goats are on the so-called Corbier road.

Furthermore, Bruno Texier does not understand the silence of his colleague in the town of Saint-Andre*. “The goats have to come to Narbonne for the movement of things, knowing that they have gone all the way to Peyriac-de-Mer? So why doesn’t the mayor answer to anyone, attend any meetings? I have nothing against him, but the problem comes from his house, and at the same time, he points out. Nobody is in favor of slaughter and handing over. The ideal solution would be to collect samples to entrust to herders who want to settle down. “I don’t see myself catching 1.50m wild goats. Sincerely. Then park them, feed them, etc.,” Portel mayor said.

As for hunters seeking compensation for crop damage, the answer was clear. Let these goats be considered a game, we will deal with it.”

* The president of the hunting federation, the mayor of Saint-Andre-de-Roquelongue and Valerie Corbeaux, whom we reached by phone on December 16, did not return our calls.

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