France's 'smelliest cheese' under threat from wild boars


Farmers have sounded the alarm over boars, saying their foraging is ruining pastures for cows that produce the milk used for Munster cheese.

This article is freely available. Check out our subscription offers. Subscribe

One of France's smelliest cheeses is under threat from rampaging wild boars, makers of Munster have warned, reports The Telegraph.

Farmers in the eastern Haut-Rhin department, better known as Alsace, have sounded the alarm over the destructive boars, saying their foraging is ruining pastures for cows that produce the milk used for the notoriously stinky fromage.

Makers of Munster must respect strict rules to obtain its coveted appellation of origin label of quality, or AOP. These stipulate that at least 70 percent of cow fodder must come from the local farm. 

Infamous for its pungent odour, the soft cheese is made from milk from Vosgiennes cows, a breed that was imported from Scandinavia in the 18th century and is known for the high protein content of their milk.  

But a rocketing local boar population in the area has led to up to 60 per cent of pastures being uprooted as the beasts forage for acorns, tubers and underground grubs. Some 43 farms have been affected.

The situation has got so bad that farmers now say the production of France's Munster cheese is in peril.

"They uproot the earth so we have a problem with the grass but what's dangerous is that droppings and dust get into the hay. It's not good for the animals or for the cheese," farmer Marc Weiss, whose son is a Munster cheese producer, told France Bleu. 

He said the boar were intelligent creatures who were not put off by electric fences as they waited until the current was off momentarily due to a lack of clicks to charge into a field. Even when they repair the damage, the boars quickly return, threatening their livelihood.

Read more of this report from The Telegraph.

Extend your reading on Mediapart Unlimited access to the Journal free contribution in the Club Subscribe