Frequently Asked Questions


In response to FAQ's about wild boar, we have developed a questions and answers page. Ifyou have a question about wild boar, fire away. We promise to respond. Question us at British Wild Boar. We understand somepeople may find questions about shooting or eating wild boar not strictly PC. We apologise ifthis causes offence but the aim of the site is to present reliable information about all aspects ofwild boar in Britain, and not to be judgmental. Anonymity is assured.

Purity

Are the free-living wild boar pure or are they hybrids? - It is not known for certain. This is a complex issue, for a more in depth answer visit Are the free-living Wild Boar Pure?

Origin

Where did the wild boar come from? - They escaped from wild boar farms where they are bred fortheir meat, from abattoirs prior to slaughtering and from private animal collections. They did notcome through the channel tunnel!

Were they deliberately released? - Unlikely, because the animals have a monetary value.

Will there be more escapes? - There is no reason why there shoudn't be. Wild boar are the'Houdinis' of captive livestock.

Are the animals pure wild boar or domestic pig/wild boar hybrids? - It is not known. TheMAFF report only states that the animals look like pure wild boar.

Are the animals spreading? - Almost certainly, because they have no natural predators and are a very adaptable species.

Conservation

Are wild boar a former native species? Yes, they became extinct 300 years ago due to overhunting and habitat loss.

Wild boar died out in Britain before, will the current animals also die out? - Possible,but unlikely. The country is more conservation minded today. Wild boar have no naturalpredators. A welfare state means no one should starve to death in winter, whereas a poachedwild boar could be the difference between life or death for poor families in the middle ages. Meat can be supplied to restaurants from farmed animals as opposed to wild animals, thus protecting the wild stock.

Will wild boar ever be re-introduced deliberately? - Not in the near future. Legislation prevents thedeliberate release of animals into the wild. Any 'official' re-introduction would first require a feasibilitystudy, which takes several years.

Ecology

Will wild boar damage the woodland ecology? - No, not in countries where they are native or oncewere native (e.g. Britain) SScientific studies show an increase in the number of different plants inthe woodland. The wild boars' rooting improves soil fertility and provides a seed bed.

Hunting

Is it legal to shoot wild boar? - Yes, if you have permission off the landowner plus allnecessary firearm licenses etc.

What calibre should be used to humanely kill an animal? An article in Shooting Times andCountry Magazine (20 May 1999 p33) recommends 'ideal calibre of .30-06 with 180 grains but .270 calibre with 150 grains will do the job'.....'.243 down to .240 is definitely out'.

Can the carcass be eaten? Yes, wild boar meat is considered a delicacy. Older animals can have too 'gamey' a flavour and are best for sausages. Be careful who butchers or cooks your animal -free-living wild boar can carry worms and parasites.

Agriculture

Do wild boar damage agricultural crops? - Yes, in several countries wild boar areconsidered a pest for this very reason.

Are farmers compensated for agricultural losses? - No, not in this country, but in several others,France and Spain for example.

Do wild boar in Britain eat lambs? - Allegedly yes, but not proven. It is likely that if lambs wereeaten they were dead or dying anyway which is more in keeping with wild boar feeding behaviour; opportunistic scavengers rather than active predators.

Are grants available for stock fencing to wild boar out of crop fields? No, grants are not available.

How can wild boar be kept away from crop fields? - Strong fencing that doesn't have any gapsunderneath it plus a single strand electric wire for a belt and braces approach. The secret ismaintaining the stockfence, wild boar make use of existing weaknesses in fencing from badger runs,rabbit diggings or fallen trees.

Public safety

Are wild boar dangerous? - No, if left alone. Yes, if provoked or annoyed (particularly sowswith piglets). Wild boar will always run first, only if cornered or threatened will they attack

How can I persuade these delightful wild creature to stay away from my garden. I dont want to hurt them but the scare me and my family and wouldprefer they stayed away? The only way to keep them out of gardens is to fence them out. Loud bangs, flashing lights, shooting them, etc. are only temporarily effective and the boar soon come back.

A newspaper article author said he would rather be attacked by a wild boar than a bigdog, would you agree? I don't want to be attacked by either! but I agree.

Is my dog in danger if I walk through the woods? No, provided your dog is obedient and comes to your call. If your dog runs off and disappears into the undergrowth then he might come back followed byan irate wild boar. If this happens, do not get between the dog and the wild boar.

What should I do if attacked by a boar? Firstly, do not put yourself in a vulnerable position (e.g.walking through wild boar woods at night (wild boar are nocturnal) with a disobedient dog off itslead). Fortunately an angry boar will advertise it's intentions and 'challenge' you by barking andsnorting when 10-20 yards away. If an animal does this, retreat immediately and quickly. If theanimals is coming at you, climb something or if you cant, run like hell. Be sensible. There are farmore worst things out there than wild boar - mostly two footed. If you walk the woods, carry a mobilephone, torch, distress whistle, tell someone etc. etc.

Note. An injured animal in pain from a gunshot wound or traffic accident is a whole new ball game. If youcome across an animal mad with pain, again climb something or run like hell. Do the responsible thingand immediately report it to the nearest police station or RSPCA office.

Animal health

I keep a few pigs as pets, will they attract the wild boar? - Yes they might, particularly ifyou have a sow in heat. Male wild boar are solitary and will range far and wide in search of amate. Their 'mate' can be another wild boar, a domestic pig, a pot-bellied pig....they are notfussy - the cat is safe though!

Animal welfare

Is there a close season when you can't shoot wild boar? - No. There is no close season. This meanspregnant and lactating sows can be shot. We leave it up to your conscience.

Biology

How many young do wild boar sows have and how often? - It varies depending on how much food isavailable. Typically between 3-6 piglets once a year in spring. In years of exceptionally goodfood availability a second litter may be produced later in the year.

How long do wild boar live? - In the wild approx 10-12 years. In captivity substantiallylonger, up to 20 years has been reported

What is the gestation period? - 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days (approx 120 days)

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