Ombudsman: Hunting for a solution

Marcel* is a veteran and is struggling with serious PTSD complaints. His house is located in an environment where hunting is regularly carried out. Sneaking around and shooting the hunters is a big trigger for Marcel. It reminds him of the violent and extreme situations caused by his PTSD. Not very favorable for his recovery. He wants the hunting around his house to stop. Marcel is the first to go to the police and later also appeals to the municipality.

Unfortunately, they can‘t mean anything to Marcel. The hunters have to comply with the conditions of the hunting permit, and so do they. As long as they meet the conditions, it is not possible to ban hunting. A huge damper for Marcel.

A buddy in the veteran walk-in house tips Marcel to contact the Veterans Ombudsman. He’s meeting our employee Yvonne. It contacts the various organisations involved in hunting in the area. Not only the municipality and police, but also the State Forest Administration, the local Wildlife Management Unit and the Royal Hunters Association. All of them understand Marcel‘s situation. They all think something should be done for Marcel. But there is no simple solution.

For example, several groups of hunters appear to be active in the area around Marcel’s house. Some hunt to combat an excess of certain species. Good agreements can be made with them. They‘ll give Marcel a signal from now on when they go hunting. In addition, a group of hunters protects the fields of a farmer. They do not always seem to follow the rules and hunt even when the fields are empty. These are always different hunters, so they are not always aware of the situation of Marcel.

Forbidding hunting in the area around Marcel’s property is unfortunately not possible. However, we succeeded in penetrating the various authorities of the gravity of the memories that the sneaking around and shooting evokes to veteran Marcel. Memories that seriously turn his life upside down and make the way to his recovery even more difficult. Agreements have now been made and Marcel is in any case informed when there is going to be hunting again. That way, we were able to contribute to a solution for a veteran who couldn‘t feel safe in his own home anymore.

*Figged name

Is things wrong between you and the government? Or don’t you come out with another government agency? Call the National Ombudsman free of charge 0800 — 33 55 555.