Our family consists of four people.
Paul Audenaerde was born in 1952 and graduated from Ghent University as a veterinary surgeon in 1976. In that very year he started a rural vet practice which has now evolved predominantly into a deer and horses practice. Living at a farm – the Marquettepolder farm – with his family, he started raising deer himself in 1989. In cooperation with the Dutchman John van Beuningen, who was the first in Belgium to start a deer farm in the Ardennes, he founded ABEC, the Belgian Deer Farmers Association, in 1991. He has been the chairman of the latter to date. From 2000 until 2003 he was the Chairman of FEDFA (Federation of European Deer Farmers associations) as well, after having been a representative for FEDFA for several years. He still represents Belgium in FEDFA today. Consequently, he is acquainted with the impact of the common European policy on agriculture in member states generally and on deer farming in particular. Paul edits ‘The farmed deer', the magazine of ABEC, and has written hundreds of popularized articles of a technical and a unionist nature. For many years individuals, media and governments have consulted him about deer-related matters.
As the deer enterprise at the Marquettepolder was expanding and land was becoming scarce in the neighbourhood, Paul started looking for a farm in France. A local vet friend near Poitiers indicated a suitable farm which happened to be for sale. In 1997 the deal was struck and the required conversions were carried out consequently. Le Bois Clairet is now a model deer farm both for its infrastructure as for the deer raised.
As Paul had become a specialised deer vet with his own deer farm, he soon became aware of the need for better anaesthesia techniques in a deer context. He had experienced that several systems on the market were rather deficient. His search for a solution took him to Denmark, to the producer of Dan-Inject dart rifles. As the Dan Inject product proved to be superior quality by far as compared to any other products in this niche market, Paul decided to start distributing this brand in Belgium, the Netherlands and France. The dealer in France had passed away. Paul's specialized veterinary knowledge and experience with deer are valuable assets in his contacts with any Dan Inject customers.
His partner Jeannine Wintein is a former Belgian karate champion who even won silver at the European games – but all this is past glory now. Later she became a co-owner of the establishment Kinders Siska in Knokke and her own restaurant kitchen. In Paul's Marquettepolder farm, she is now advising customers on how to prepare the venison produced at the deer farm.
Jeannine introduced American miniature horses to the farm. Although they are rather limited in number, they are all extremely good quality, one of them having gained the prize medal of European champion.
Two adult daughters are still living at the farm. Both have opted for totally different careers.