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Farmer sues for millions lost to hungry elk

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Farmer sues for millions lost to hungry elk
Photo: Erik Starck
11:27 CEST+02:00
A vegetable grower upset with the eating habits of vagrant elk is filing suit against his township for costs and lost produce.

Thorer Egeland wants over 5 million kroner ($888,000) for the lost income and the damages wrought by elk over a four-year period. He said a fence he built was trampled by the big mammals during the autumn and winter of 2007 and 2008.

“He has, among other things, significant sums invested in the fence,” the farmer’s lawyer Helge Skaaraas told The Local during a court recess on Thursday. Egeland said he thinks conservation authorities have denied him the right to shoot the elk, an activity allowed only in Norway’s wilder areas.

“He is angry over Spydeberg township’s conservation officials not taking the problem seriously,” Skaaraas said.

The compensation Egeland seeks relates to becoming “technically” unemployed for periods as a result of the elk incursions into his fields of leafy greens. The Spydeberg grower is one of Norway’s largest producers of the onion-like leek.

Despite the lawsuit, Egleland has decided to move his growth operation from Spydeberg to Ski, both towns in Östfold County.

The case has been given three days in Östfold’s Heggen og Fröland circuit court.

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