Introduction

Wild Boar (Sus scrofa L.)
 
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa L.) were once native to Britain but were extinct by the end of the seventeenth century. In fact it is likely that they only survived this long because of introductions to supplement the population. In recent years there have been a number of escapes from farms and possibly private collections. These have formed the basis of several breeding populations scattered through the country.
 
In addition to accidental escapes there have been some 'releases' by animal rights groups.
 
 
 
Because wild boar have a high reproductive capacity and good dispersal abilities, such escapes have the potential to spread and become widely established if they are not controlled. The established feral populations now present a number of problems. On the one hand, they might be considered a successful, albeit unplanned, reintroduction of an extinct species and a valuable addition to our biodiversity. On the other, they are a potential reservoir for livestock diseases, a destructive pest of agriculture or native biodiversity and a potential danger to people or pets. There are also no specific legal controls on the ways, or the times of year, in which they may be killed, to ensure that it is done humanely.
 
Breeding populations have been reported from:
Kent and East Sussex
Dorset
Herefordshire
Gloucestershire
Devon
Somerset
Sightings have also been reported from many other areas.
 
British Wildlife Management seeks to apply its principles to the issues raised by this addition to our fauna.
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