Wild Boars Causing Destruction in EnglandKeith
Wild boars have returned to the English countryside – and the population has been so successful that the government has introduced an action plan to deal with their growing numbers.
The population in Gloucestershire’s Forest of Dean is thought to be around 100, but there are further groups on the Kent/Sussex border, in west Dorset and Dartmoor.
Altogether, the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) estimates the UK population to be around 1,000. All significant breeding groups are in England.
The animals, which have either escaped from boar farms or been deliberately released into the wild, have no natural predators and can reproduce from an early age. This has helped the population growth, and concerns have been growing about the impact on communities and the land on which the creatures live. The boars are digging up cricket pitches, grass verges, garden lawns and other public areas.
Because of the potential for the population to explode – there is going to have to be some sort of management,a spokesperson says.
Wild boar expert Dr Martin Goulding agrees there may have to be some culling, but he is concerned that Defra’s action plan is too short on detail on how it should take place.
“There is no instruction to control the wild boar sensibly, responsibly and safely – how to cleanly kill a wild boar,” he says.
“It is very important for animal welfare reasons – and because an injured wild boar is a very dangerous animal indeed.”
Defra says there are further details to come regarding the type of firearms to be used and how to prevent further escapes from wild boar farms.