French town overrun by rabbits puts up posters of… rabbit stew recipe

The recipe is being shown on digital billboards after residents began complaining of burgeoning bunnies

Rabbits have been digging extra holes in the local golf course, prompting recipe posters…but residents will have to catch the critters first
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A mayor in southern France has put up posters with recipes for rabbit stew in a novel attempt to address a rapidly-growing rabbit population in the area.

Jean-Luc Meissonnier has adopted the unusual method in a bid to deal with a proliferation of rabbits in Baillargues near Montpellier (Hérault, Occitanie) over the past six months.

The local Massane golf course and the gardens of houses around it are particularly affected, say residents. One said: “They have been in our gardens for six months, we see them often in our garden, digging holes.”

The issue - which appears to be too large for predatory buzzard birds to handle - prompted authorities to act. “Following a meeting with the prefect, we decided to take more incentivising measures,” said the mayor.

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The recipes have been posted on large digital billboards and include steps for making the stew.

The instructions include:

  • Start by preparing the marinade by mixing diced rabbit with herbs, pepper, minced onion, crushed garlic and chopped carrots

  • Cover it all in half a bottle of red wine and leave it in a cool, dry place for 12-24 hours

  • The next day, take out the rabbit from the marinade and cook he pieces in a pan with butter, shallots, and salt for 10 minutes

  • Then add the herbs from the marinade, and simmer for five minutes

  • Add the liver and kidneys of the rabbit

Read also: RECIPES: real French charcuterie of rabbit rillettes, pork liver pâté

The director of the Massane golf course, Bruno Castel, has gone one step further, and has installed extra ‘rabbit-proof’ fencing around his course. He has also said that the rabbits are damaging farmers’ fields.

He said: “Politicians need to take this issue seriously as some crops are being ravaged."