Hungary's wild game sector is expected to expand 5%-7% in 2006, continuing last year's positive trend, undersecretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Fülöp Benedek said on Friday.Revenue from hunting permits and hunting tourism added up to about Ft 16 billion in 2005, with foreign tourists contributing roughly 90%. About 60,000 hunters are registered in Hungary, including 55,000 who hunt regularly. Hunting tourism supports 12,000 people directly and a further 10,000 indirectly.
Big game, such as deer, moufflon and wild boar, are of international standards in Hungary, but hunters also come for the country's small game, particularly wild duck, pheasant and hare, Benedek said. Game companies make excellent profits on exports of live hare, mainly to Belgium and Italy.
Hunting regulations had tightened following several fatal accidents, Benedek said, adding that restrictions introduced after the discovery of avian flu in birds in Hungary were sufficient to ensure the safety of hunters.