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Farmers Paid for Losses
Lu Yongman, a 62-year-old farmer in Yanqing County, northwest of Beijing, is a star after becoming the first beneficiary of a new local measure to compensate farmers for losses caused by wild animals.

The money, paid in late November, was equivalent to 70 percent of his economic losses caused by the animals.

"I don't know how to deal with such conditions, seeing my maize stalks and corncobs scattered in a mess," Lu said.

"I'm no exception, everyone knows that boars are on the national level protection list for wild animals, so the only way I can turn is to the government."

Six years have passed since the compensation idea was first floated, with the initial draft ruling emerging early in 1996. It was introduced this year.

"The measure is the first of its kind in Beijing," said Zhou Jianqiang of the Yanqing county government's information office.

Lu has been dealing with wild boars for many years since his farmland was first destroyed by them in 1997.

"A third of my farmland planted with potatoes and maize was at sixes and sevens when I patrolled my land one morning in mid August this year," he said lightly after being compensated.

"I almost cried out when I came across the disturbing scene, but fortunately I got justice from the government."

Altogether, 249 households in the county have this year been compensated for damage, according to a source with the county government.

"People who suffer losses by nationally protected wild animals can ask for compensation from the directly related government," said an unnamed official with the State Forestry Administration.

(China Daily November 27, 2002)

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