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Thread: Future management Of the Swedish Boar population

  1. #1

    Future management Of the Swedish Boar population

    I was at a Kopov club meeting at the week end and picked up a book called , Vildsvinsförvaltning I samverkan “Wild boar management in cooperation “ You can google it but as its 50 pages it will not translate.
    It’s a study what is the best way to manage the wild boar population in the future. The study is a cooperation between the LRF (Swedish NFU) Police, Jägareförbundet (Swedens leading hunting organisation ) The Swedish Kennel Club and several other hunting and agricultural organisation .
    There are many similarities between the growing populations of wild boar in Sweden and England . The wild boar in Sweden originate from escapees from boar farm and parks in the 70’s so Sweden is 10 years a head in the spread of the wild boar.
    Many mistakes have been made in the past in the management of the boar population and this cooperation is the start of getting some joined up thinking into the management of wild boar.
    There were many mistakes like over feeding and over feeding with the wrong food. Not giving the wild boar the respect as a very worthy game species that can generate income and good hunting opportunities. Its also been found that by feeding in a strategic manner the damage to crops can be minimised to a acceptable level.
    The book also covers the use of dogs in hunting boar, Hunting with a pack of dogs has never been allowed in Sweden neither has the use of attack dog s been allowed. But there has been a slipping of standards when it comes to hunting boar with dogs and it has been noticed that some hunting days do resemble pack hunting.
    There is no Swedish dog breed for hunting boar although the spitzer type dogs as used for Älg hunting do hunt boar well . In the last 8 years there have been imports of several types of driving hunting dogs that specialise in boar hunting. The hunting breed clubs have now come together to put together a code for hunting these dogs and hunting tests etc.
    Traffic accidents involving wild boar have risen from 755 year 2002 to an estimated 3000-3500 for the year 2009
    This is where the police want to have good relations with hunters who carry out eftersök (tracking) of injured boar. Tracking boar requires a dog specially trained for the tracking of boar .
    I read a article in the Teckle clubs magazine of a hunter who tracked a traffic injured boar with his teckle that he used for tracking roe. The teckle had never been trained on boar and the whole saga did not end well for handler or dog.
    The people who are called out by the police are paid for there services . The payment varies depending on what type of animal you are tracking.
    Rifle calibres and seasons for the hunting of boar have been in place since boar were put on the game list
    The management of wild boar has changed dramatically over the last few years and this cooperation between all involved should lead to a better understanding and treatment of a very worthy game species.

    I wonder if England will ever get some joined up thinking about the management of its soon to be exploding boar population?

  2. #2
    I wonder if England will ever get some joined up thinking about the management of its soon to be exploding boar population?
    In a word:-


    I would like to think otherwise but let's face it the numpties in charge have not got a clue and are more afriad that we the shooters might get some sport and enjoyment out of hunting them and might actually do it right . Just like the management in the main of Muntjac.

  3. #3
    ...if all the different organisations with a vested interest (agriculture, conservation, hunting, forestry, home office, etc.) try hard enough. But it's a big ask, and the incentive to get together will never come from the 'numpties in charge', as they work in a culture of reacting to events only when they can no longer put it off, rather than being even remotely proactive.

    Meanwhile, we plug away at increasing awareness that the species actually exists in England - I am still surprised by how often I hear the phrase 'I didn't know we had wild boar in this country!'

  4. #4

    Thank you very much for that information and also for posing the question in relation to wild boar in the UK - I hope it will provoke some serious consideration of where we might be heading over here.

    Whilst I don't doubt that the UK is now where Sweden was 10 years ago in terms of releases/reintroduction, are you sure that we will follow the same path?

    I believe there are a number of factors that may adversely influence the spead of boar in the UK - for starters the demographics of the the two countries are not compatible:

    Sweden; population 9,059,651 in a land area of 450,295 km² gives a population density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre but 85% of those live in urban areas. And most importantly, up to 65% of the land area is forested.

    For the UK; a population of 61,399,118 in a land area of 244,820 sq km gives a population density of 383 inhabitants per square kilometre, and whilst the majority will live in urban areas there is only 10% of the total area under woodland/forest.

    Okay those are dry as dust figures, but they underline the difficulties that boar will face in increasing their range and numbers over here until they reach, and become established in, the large forested areas of mid Wales, northern England and lowland Scotland. For reference I believe we can look at the slow spread that other 'recent' introductions have experienced - roe deer in southern England for instance, how long has it taken them to recolonise their former range? And they are yet to reach some areas of Wales and the South East. Although not a previously indigenous species, Muntjac could provide another example.

    Then we have the different attitudes to 'hunting' large mammals of present day society in Sweden and the UK. Leaving fox hunting aside, and other than those areas where organised Stag or Buck Hunting takes place - and even then it becomes a political hot potato - Joe Public and the authorities have little of no interest in it, (and I include stalking in that). Even in Scotland the hunting/stalking of deer faces an uneasy alliance between the interests of the sporting estates and the deer based economy versus that of forestry.

    Will wild boar achieve any recognition as a sporting quarry or fare any differently?

    As far as the ability of any of the organisations with an interest to be capable of 'joined up thinking' goes, I think we are at the moment on a hiding to nothing.

    DEFRA appear to be looking firmly at the potential of wild boar to be a disease vector that will adversely effect domestic food production. View their 'Action Plan' here: FWIW the reaction I'm coming across from the limited questioning I've initiated with the farming community down here mirrors that exactly, "what happens if foot & mouth happens again?" And this is an area that is already suffering dreadfully from Bovine TB and badgers!

    As far as the shooting organisations are concerned, do they have any idea of what line to follow with wild boar? I see that the Deer Initiative are already in bed with DEFRA so can we expect a WBSC1 & WBSC2 around the corner? Is anyone going to fight the 'hunter's' corner on this one? Doesn't look like it to me.

    Ditto for the police. As with all matters to do with firearms there is absolutely no continuity between the forces in their attitude to wild boar and the administration of the Firearms Act in that regard. Some make no commitment, some classify as vermin, others want a specific condition in place and a minimum calibre requirement. My own (Devon & Cornwall), have even stated that a 'letter from DEFRA' is required! . So generally speaking they all have no idea what to do.

    So overall, I'm afraid that until we see some boar specific legislation or even guidance put in place for sow close season etc. it's going to be an uphill struggle for them to get anywere near the Swedish scenario.

    Just my opinion of course and I am very much in favour of this recent addition to our biodiversity, so please discuss.
    Last edited by Orion; 07-03-2010 at 14:59.

  5. #5
    Orion, If you look at the main areas in Sweden where the highest populations of boar are these are the agricultural areas like Skåne, Halland småland in southern Sweden and around Stockholm. These areas are very much like England and not at all heavily forested.
    True there is a lot of Forestry but we have a lot of agriculture as well. If you ever drive Up from Malmö you would think were do these boar find cover but believe me its alive with them. Don't think that boar need thick forest to do well.
    I lived and stalked in Sussex till i moved here. Sussex and all the southern Counties perfect boar country
    I know England is a heavily populated country but deer seen to do very well. Believe me England will be paradise for Boar. The boar bomb has yet to explode in the UK but its on the way.
    Sweden is a country with a better public understanding of hunting than England but sooner or later When people awake to find there garden , golf club greens, football pitchs etc turned over there will be great squeals a of anguish and not from the boar.

    I understand that the FC in England try and cull the boar. Strange when the damage they do to forestry is very minimal with no report of noticable damage so far and its said that if there is damage then its far outwayed by the good boar do in the Forest. Damage to agriculture is another story. It has been found that by strategic feeding damage to agriculture can be drastically reduced

    The police can go around with there heads up there arses. But if a boar goes off injured after a collision with a vehicle they will need someone to sort it out. They are not like injured deer. A injured deer is not likely to attack people or dogs out for there walkies in the woods. I bet ther won't be many injured boar taken to tiggywinkles animal sanctuary.

    In Sweden mistakes have been made manageing the boar population. But we have learnt by mistakes made and much more to learn.

    Wild boar hunting like deer stalking has a good potential to generate money that alone should make them more valued. I remember when deer had no value and were shot as vermin. A differnt story today

    As for the preading of disease how do they cope in the rest of Europe they live with boar and have done for a long time. So what problems do they face there. They have a lot of pig farming and cattle in the rest of Europe.

    If DEFRA are worried about boar then put together an eradication programe. If they are not going to do that them a management plan is needed.

    Its down to all those involved to get some sort of management plan in place. lets face it how hard is it to see how they manage and live with boar in the rest of Europe and work out a model for that suits the UK.
    Last edited by Jagare; 07-03-2010 at 15:42.

  6. #6
    Excellent information and discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jagare View Post
    lets face it how hard is it to see how they manage and live with boar in the rest of Europe and work out a model for that suits the UK.
    With the current organisations involved - very difficult apparently. We can but live in hope though.

    BTW. Isn't amazing how much time, effort and above all money is being invested into the 'reintroduction' of the beaver into the UK, (a species which it is questionable was ever present here in the first place), compared to that being applied to the wild boar.
    Last edited by Orion; 07-03-2010 at 17:47.

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