Friday, 18 December 2015

BBC WILDLIFE MAGAZINE on the Forest of Dean Boar

BBC Wildlife December 2015.

A really good article on the forest's wild boar has appeared in BBC Wildlife magazine this month.

Ben Hoare, the author, interviewed Friends of the Boar at length in November and we are delighted to see quite a lot of our information got through to print.

It was refreshing to see some positive boar facts in the media for a change, such as the University of Worcester's recent survey revealing that a "huge majority of respondents feel boar are beneficial."

Sadly we see more deceit from Ian Harvey at the Forestry Commission, and also from Robin Gill at Forestry research.

They insinuate the boar can breed all year round because of the forest's "plentiful food and mild climate."  This is wrong because because boar do not breed year round (unless mismanaged), and the food supply dwindles in the winter - hence the need for them to root the roadsides.

Another untruth of Ian Harvey is that wild boar have 6-10 piglets, "since they are hybrids between wild boar and farmed pigs".  Total nonsense, and he knows it.

This they know to be untrue and are purposefully deceiving the public.

No wild boar in the Forest of dean has been seen to have more than 7 piglets in 11 years.  DNA tests have shown that all boar, all across Europe and Asia have "farmed boar" genes in them, but these genes are recessive.  The boar are not feral anymore and act and look like true wild boar despite the tiny element of domestic genes (that all the boar across Europe also have).

What Ian Harvey tries to base this pseudo-fact on is a post-mortem finding in a sow a few years back that had 12+ corpus luteum or "yellow bodies".   This is the structure that bore the egg in the ovary and was left empty after fertilisation. These can equate to embryos.  But again, Harvey quotes from domestic pigs for they have a greater correlation between corpus luteum and piglet number.   But 12+ corpus luteum in wild boar does not mean that 12 piglets were to be born  The sow produced 12+ eggs, of which 50% were likely to become embryos.

We also note a councillor claims the boar in Ruardean primary School in 2008 HAD to be shot, when actually it did not.  We have covered this previously, with a photo of said boar happily munching on windfall apples in a corner of the school field doing no harm to anyone.  The children, as the councillor rightly states, were sad and shocked to see an innocent animal shot before their very eyes!

So as per usual, people with propaganda to spread and an ill-will towards wild animals get a say in opinion pieces, but we hope you will do your own study and find the truth.

We are glad, however, to see conclusive reporting that wild boar are actually good for bluebells. 

We are also glad to read of 4 ways we can learn to live with the boar (better fencing, meat-fund, garden-angels/turf teams, contraception).

Actually, contraception may work but not the way the Forestry Commission wish using the dangerous non-species specific contraception administered via a feeding device.

We have been approached by a company who are willing to do this on the wild boar.  We hope to bring further news on this in the near future.

Please get a copy and read the rest yourself.  It is definitely worth a read. 

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