German dynasty behind Persil detergent stripped of their right to hunt deer

A German dynasty, the Henkels, own an estate in the Kaisertal, a valley a few miles south of the German border. It was voted the most beautiful place in Austria. They’ve owned this estate since the 1930s.

Kaisertal.
Kaisertal. See end of article for credit.

The Henkels are collectively worth about €15 billion having made their money from chemicals and cosmetics all of which grew out of a single detergent factory in Düsseldorf, Germany, which launched the Persil range of washing detergents in 1907.

The Kaisertal estate extends to 3,200 acres. It was inaccessible by road until a tunnel was bored through the mountain in 2008. Its remoteness has led to it being called the “Valley of the Lawless”.

The Henkel family have the right to shoot deer on their extensive estate. However, farmers have complained and accused the family of failing in their duty to keep the deer numbers down.

The neighbours claim that the deer are out of control and that the forest ecosystem is in danger. Saplings are being killed off which can cause damage to the quality of the water in the valley.

The complaint by farmers has led to the local authority terminating the family’s hunting tenancy from 2025. The authorities are going to hire professional hunters to keep the deer numbers in check.

Picture of the Kaisertal: By Rufus46 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=872972

Source of the story: The Times of Jan 25th, 2024.

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Post Category: Deer