Thursday, 22 July 2010

More on the Wild Boar

Due to some of the comments below, I have decided to write some more, where the wild boars are concerned.

A few dogs have been injured and some have been killed since the boars arrived, but this has been with dogs off lead, approaching the boar.
The Forestry Commission are managing them, but this will never be enough for some and too much for others. Some want an outright cull because the boars don't fit in with their nanny state, while others want them left alone to breed out of control. Neither of the above is the right answer, the boars need to be managed to a healthy sustainable level and this will take a while to get right.

I can understand how a person must feel if they lose their dog to the wild boar and I can also understand the hatred, which must follow. However, as I have always said, the forest is home to thousands of wild animals that have “themselves” been terrorised by dogs, off lead, for decades.
Nobody gives a damn about this and the only reason why our wildlife is persecuted in the way that it is, is because they have no voice, they can't defend themselves. Well they couldn't until now that is!
There are certain people that see the forest as a playground for their dog. I have never seen it this way and it’s about time that these people started to respect the forest and see it for what it is. Home to our wildlife.

We should and always will be able to walk dogs in the forest, but if we choose to let them run wild, then the risk of injury and death of our pet is down to us. Its like taking your dog for a walk down the street on a lead away from the traffic, or letting it wander around off lead where it could run into the road and be killed by a car. Who is to blame, the dog, the car, or the owner?
Hundreds of dogs are killed by adders every year in the UK. This reptile is also hated by many and has also been persecuted in the past, but even though they are hated like the wild boar, they are protected and accepted. Why, because they have always been here.
People forget that the wild boars are a native species like the adder, but as they have been away for so long people are not prepared to accept them as it means they will have to change “their” ways to enable them to fit in. They are not prepared to do this, so this is why the wild boar will never be accepted.

Other countries live alongside far more dangerous animals than the wild boar and they manage. Why, because they have a healthy respect for them, something, which is sadly lacking in the Forest of Dean.

Your comments are always welcome. If you disagree with my views then please tell me as I am open to all sorts of constructive criticism.



  1. Rob is it as many dogs as this killed by adders?
    I have been bitten twice once turning stones over looking for Slowworms, my fault and once when kneeling in heather an accident. Neither was much worse than a wasp or hornet sting so I've always assumed that their venom was only fit for killing frogs or small rodents.
    Every voice helps but when stiles have to be passed by the council a boar though shy is more something to be feared than respected. Even domestic cattle pigs and sheep can inflict injury. The ignorant public ought to be educated, the first rule is don't run or make aggressive noises. Keep up the crusade, perhaps the wrong analogy, the Crusaders lost.

  2. Hi Adrian,

    Like you, I was also bitten by an adder once. Also my fault as I tried to get too close. This is a mistake that I will not make again.
    The venom from an adders bite “can” be fatal in humans, but this is very rare and normally caused from an allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock, rather from the venom itself.
    Even if you have been bitten in the past with no severe symptoms or ill effects, it is advisable to always get checked out if you are bitten by this snake. Better safe than sorry.

    I hear about fatal adder bites on dogs every year, but I am finding it hard to get hold of any credible statistics.
    There are obviously even more cases where dogs are bitten and die without the owner realising that a bite has occurred. This could be down to the dog being off lead and too far away for the owner to realise. Also, some dogs can be bitten and make no noise, or the owner thinks that their dog has simply got too near something a bit prickly. After all, adders like harsh habitats like bramble and gorse.

    Wild boar should not be feared, they are frightening to some who don’t understand them. The problem is that there is too much scaremongering being printed in the newspapers. It’s all the “what if this or that happened” or “if I had a child with me” and so on.
    You are bang on that the public needs educating. A good way would be for a spokesperson from the Forestry Commission and Dr. Martin Goulding (British Wild Boar) to answer people’s questions and concerns put the myths to bed and question the scaremongers on their idiotic comments. Although I doubt that any would show, as they would only be humiliated and shown for what they are - Wildlife hating scaremongers.

    I gave a talk and supplied a PowerPoint presentation on the wild boar for Gwent Wildlife Trust back in 2009.
    There were “a lot” of people in attendance with concerns, there were some that obviously hated them and was there just to try and start trouble, but the majority wanted to learn about the boar and see for themselves that they are not out there tearing it up after our blood.

  3. Rob, Keep up your good work as the voice of the Boar in the Forest of Dean, unfortunately although there will be a lot who share your opinions they will not voice them, they will be happy to let you do all the work.

    I totally agree that the boar do need to be kept to a sustainable level, and like you I know that the Commission will get it right eventually. After all, left un-managed the boar reproduce at 300% per year. I have spoken to Sid Davis and Neil Sollars of the Forestry and they have a healthy regard for the Boar and I believe that they have no desire to rid the forest of all the boar.


  4. Hi Brian, good to hear from you mate. Hope all is well with you.

    I spent a long time getting frustrated with all the crap that was being printed week after week, so I thought I would have my say.
    Like you said, there are quite a few people who like seeing the boar and don't want them completely removed. Yet they won't open their mouths to help.
    I can understand in a way as it can attract unsavoury types and trouble, but I live for this, so these people don't bother me and never will.
    I’ll give um the Vorust Yud Butt!

    As far as the Forestry Commission goes, I have always been one to make my own mind up and look at the whole picture rather than just one possible issue. The Commission has a very hard job managing the forest and its wildlife and as the boars release was not planned, they were caught on their back foot.
    I speak to Sid regularly and like you said, they don’t want to completely cull them, just keep them to a healthy level that is acceptable to most (some!)
    However, this decision may one day be taken out of their hands.

    See ya around Bri, take it easy fella!

  5. We humans clear up forests and deprive wild creatures of their habitats, and even disturb what ever that still remains of them. I wonder where such sheer selfishness will land us.

  6. Hi Amila,

    Over many decades we have slowly been moulding our wildlife to the way we want it and how we want to see it.
    If it doesn't fit in, we destroy it.
    The fluffy bunny huggers need to get a grip and stop discriminating againt certain species. They should all be accepted as equals and not persecuted because they can be dangerous in one way or another.

    You asked - "I wonder where such sheer selfishness will land us?"

    The answer to that IMO is that we will end up living in a world that is man-made and unhealthy.
    If we keep messing with nature, one day we may find ourselves in a position where we can not reverse the damage we have caused. We may be there already!

    Thanks for your comment.