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German hunters warn of "raccoon invasion"

© RIA Novosti / Go to the photo bankGerman hunters warn of "raccoon invasion"
German hunters warn of raccoon invasion - Sputnik International
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Raccoon and raccoon dog populations have been rapidly growing in Germany, raising concerns that the invasive species threaten other indigenous animals, the German Hunting Association said on its website.

Raccoon and raccoon dog populations have been rapidly growing in Germany, raising concerns that the invasive species threaten other indigenous animals, the German Hunting Association said on its website.

Raccoon and raccoon dogs are treated as dangerous invasive species in Europe. A number of international biodiversity protection documents urge strict control over the animals. Among other things they are known for transmitting various diseases, including rabies, and carry tapeworms.

"Effective control over the population of raccoons, raccoon dogs and other invasive species is essential to protect biodiversity in Germany. Otherwise, indigenous birds that lay eggs on the ground and in caves will be at risk," the association's chief, Jochen Borchert, said.

During the 2008-2009 hunting season, German hunters killed 54,000 raccoons, up 18,000 from the previous season. In addition, hunters also killed 30,000 raccoon dogs in the reported period, down 5,000 from the previous season.

A number of north European countries have introduced anti-raccoon dog measures. In Sweden, raccoon dogs are caught, sterilized and released back into the wild. In an effort to decrease its rapidly growing raccoon dog population, Denmark has recently allowed its hunters to shoot raccoon dogs on sight.

MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti)

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