Saturday, 6 January 2007

Wild boar in Devon

This is a story that is preoccupying the local media at the moment. Some time back animal rights activists let loose wild boar from Devon farms. A group of these boar are doing very well in the Buckland Monachorum/Roborough Down area to the west of Dartmoor. What is causing the flurry of interest right now is that there are a number of baby wild boar there and the sows are of course very very protective towards them. I know that even with the more domesticated type of pig you upset a sow who has just had a litter at your peril.

The area the boar are inhabiting is popular with walkers with and without dogs and is moorland with numerous sheep who will be lambing in the not too distant future. Dogs and newborn lambs together can cause problems, now we have wild boar and their litters in the mix. It is one thing in Europe having wild boar on the loose but in our tiny island with, as outlined above, people, dogs, sheep and boar all competing for the same space then conflicts are likely to ensue. So far on Roborough Down there have been one or two instances of boar going for dogs but luckily nothing more serious - yet.

The more militant of the animal rights people make me so angry; I absolutely respect people's points of view but releasing animals such as wild boar or mink from farms is totally and utterly wrong. Short of infiltrating their groups it will be an enormous challenge to catch the perpetrators. The worry now is if things get out of hand and a boar kills a dog or a lamb and the shooting starts.

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