Friday, 2 September 2011
Support the Call for a Closed Season on Hunting Boar
Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
"The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) was a native species of the UK until extinction through loss of habitat and conflict with man. The wild boar has now though escapes and deliberate releases become free living in many areas of the UK such as the Forest of Dean where they have flourished. These are highly intelligent timid animals that are often misunderstood. This controversial species needs specific legislation to protect breeding females during the times of the year when they give birth and have dependent young who rely on the mother. Now hunted as a ‘game’ animal with commercial value this species deserves the same seasonal protection given to other game animals including deer, wildfowl and game birds to prevent suffering when females are shot and dependant young are left to starve to death. This petition seeks the provision of a closed season to protect breeding females and their young as is in place throughout Europe for this species."
Please sign this petition at: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13423, and circulate to friends and family.
Friends of the Boar was contacted by Paul Adkins, who started this petition when he realised the situation with wild boar "management" arising in Southern Scotland is the same in The Forest of Dean, namely uncontrolled, unscientific culling as is outlined in the recent Guardian article (link in previous blog).
It is apparent that the current culling regime is more like hunting without rules, rather than sound game management.
A closed season would allow the population dynamics to recover, herd immunity to improve, and of course a chance for tourists and wildlife lovers a chance to see the wild boar in British woodland. Peristent persecution by year-round killing not only stresses these intelligent animals, but may make them feel threatened in the presence of human scent. A closed-season is of the utmost urgency. Please sign it.
Part of the whole problem here lies with the Government's (Defra) reluctance to drop the "feral" status of the wild boar. The feral label allows hunting by landowners, farmers and private game shoots without the usual protections afforded to wild animals under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). Feral animals tend to be treated as sport and something fun and irrelevent to kill. The boars are only legally protected from cruelty - which is something that cannot obviously be policed where carried out on private land. Is it co-accident that the Government are looking into scrapping the Wildlife and Countryside Act very soon?