As the majority of people know, I have been campaigning for a closed season on the culling of wild boar in the Forest of Dean for quite a few years now.
This campaign has been an upward struggle, not only with the Governing bodies that hand down controversial policies, which are then put into practice, but also trying to dispel the scaremongering that can be seen on a regular basis in local and sometimes national newspapers.
The Forestry Commission have announced that they have suspended their proposed cull for 2012, until September. This is very welcome news and I thank the people responsible for making this happen, especially Dave Slater and Joyce Moss from Friends of the Boar. However, this is, in their own words an experimental closed season so the fight will continue until a closed season is implemented as policy every year, not just for 2012.
The wild boar numbers in the Forest of Dean are at critical level. To some this may sound foolish as wild boar evidence can still be seen on the road verges etc. However, what the majority of people do not understand is that it only takes one boar to overturn at least 100 metres of road verge in just one night.
This is not "damage", this is natural behaviour from an animal searching for food.
The reason the wild boars numbers are so low at present can only be the result of over culling and it may take a few years for their numbers to return to healthy levels.
When a species feels threatened it will do everything in its power to survive and this usually results in the production of more offspring. If the human race was under threat, how would we secure the survival of our species? We would breed!
If the wild boars know they can breed without the threat of being hunted and killed, over time we will see a self sustainable, healthy population, but for this to happen we need to be brave and accept them, respect them and only manage them when necessary, e.g. nuisance animals, aggression and to keep their numbers to an acceptable level, which has been scientifically proven.
I am over the moon that they have the luxury of being able to breed and ween their hoglets through the spring into the summer of 2012, but this experimental closed season must be made policy if this species is to survive.
Click here for a recent BBC feature regarding this issue
Click here for a Local Media story
I also filmed with ITV West today; to be aired at 18.00hrs tonight.
Friends of the Boar
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