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In the department, a thousand volunteer trappers are commissioned by the municipalities to prevent the proliferation of rodents and the practice is increasingly debated. Over 80,000 animals were caught last year.

In Vigneux-de-Bretagne, everyone knows their Twingo. Behind the wheel, Alain Colas, fleece jacket and white beard, looks like a trapper, his tails dried in the trunk, his ax and his bunch of carrots waiting for the next catch. With its “300 captures per year”, he is a recognized coypu trapper. That morning, like every day, the former farmer leaves to raise his cages in the Nantes countryside. Boots on his feet, he paces the little Gesvres stream where the rodent swarms, and details his plan of action, a dead nutria drowned at his feet, legs in the air. The cage fell into the water. “I will take care of the area for a month. Put traps every 30 meters and go every morning to check.

Like Alain Colas, in Loire-Atlantique, there are a thousand trappers, volunteers, often retired, farmers or hunters. For a total of 83,000 captures last year. Once caught, the animal considered “invasive aquatic rodent” is then systematically slaughtered and then its tail cut off to receive the payment of three euros per nutria, provided for by most municipalities in charge of the fight. A “public service mission” in the eyes of Alain Colas, volunteer and vice-president of the Polleniz association, which oversees the non-pro…