Countryfile Last night, big report on FoD boar situation/population/Swine fever

Cyres

Well-Known Member
Hi,

Did any of our regular boar shooters see Countryfile last night?

If not could they watch on I player and comment on the acuracy of the report?

D
 

opticron1

Well-Known Member
Although not a Boar hunter, I was interested in the piece on the risk to the UK pig industry …. the pig producers came across well and emphasised the risk of rapid spread of Swine fever in the Feral population and the importance of keeping the wild/feral population under control. I'm afraid I had to turn over when they wheeled out the "let's save the the willd piggies person" who started spouting off about how cuddly and wonderful they are and all part of the beautiful countryside! Obviously didn't rely on rearing animals for a living and didn't quite understand the risks to our farming industry as a whole. The thought of a repeat of a Foot and Mouth outbreak or an as yet unseen Swine Flu epidemic doesn't bear thinking about.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Not a regular boar shooter, but two years ago (March 2017) Erik Hamburger and I attended a meeting that David Slater the photographer and "Friend of the Boar" called to get together with stalkers. Erik may have a better memory of the meeting and the information exchanged.

I am surprised at the comments on SD regarding David Slater's input on country file. He was not anti boar management/control or culling. His beef was that the FC policy is going against the science of wild animal management...that they are culling too many in the wrong area in order to justify their new larder facility, which has caused the boar to multiply and spread.

He was exploring the possibility of an accurate survey of actual numbers of animals. And the reason he contacted Erik and the North Cotswold Deer Management Group was the idea of setting up a ring of stalkers/boar shooters in the farms surrounding a designated boar forest area so that the less disturbed boar in that area would self regulate numbers based on food available.

I don't know about the science he was quoting, that hard hunting stimulates reproduction and population growth, but David Slater did not appear to me to be a "let's save the wild piggies person [because they are] cuddly and wonderful".

Economically he seemed to think that there was a better deal for locals from the tourist trade coming to see the boar and revenue for the farmers and land owners surrounding the forest from the likes of boar shooters.

Alan
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
Good response there Alan and welcome information on another facet of the FoD boar situation. There does seem to be a lack of joined up management planning in the area, and given the diversity of views on what to do with boar and their potential for rapid population growth, it needs to get sorted sooner rather than later. (Or too late!).
 

JeffreyL

Well-Known Member
Further to this there was a small piece on Points West last week. The FC census in Forest of Dean shows an increase of 400 boar, bringing their estimate to 1600. Also a short interview with a very concerned local pig farmer. As you say Orion 'Or too late'
 

ileso

Well-Known Member
the thing is, if you want to do something about ASF then do what you can to keep it outside of the UK.
Either avoid hunting in infected areas, or pay extra special attention to cleaning, clothes, boots, gear on the way back. Dont import trophies that might be carriers of the disease and if you do make sure its absolutely sterile.. things like that..

decimating wild boar populations in a country that is no where near the infected area (southern belgium, eastern europe) and saying its to stop ASF is stupid. ASF will not spontaneously come into existence on its own. its fear mongering plain and simple.

and in regards to boar being good for forests and a beautiful part of the countryside.. well, they are... and delicious as a bonus..
 

Free range rob

Active Member
the thing is, if you want to do something about ASF then do what you can to keep it outside of the UK.
Either avoid hunting in infected areas, or pay extra special attention to cleaning, clothes, boots, gear on the way back. Dont import trophies that might be carriers of the disease and if you do make sure its absolutely sterile.. things like that..

decimating wild boar populations in a country that is no where near the infected area (southern belgium, eastern europe) and saying its to stop ASF is stupid. ASF will not spontaneously come into existence on its own. its fear mongering plain and simple.

and in regards to boar being good for forests and a beautiful part of the countryside.. well, they are... and delicious as a bonus..
It will be ignorant members of public that bring it over here, I’m also a pig farmer and the threat of ASF terrifies me, but I don’t believe having the boar roaming the FoD will be the problem, at worst they could help spread it IF it gets here.
 

thomas

Well-Known Member
It will be ignorant members of public that bring it over here, I’m also a pig farmer and the threat of ASF terrifies me, but I don’t believe having the boar roaming the FoD will be the problem, at worst they could help spread it IF it gets here.
Spot on!
 

Irish Bob

Well-Known Member
Although not a Boar hunter, I was interested in the piece on the risk to the UK pig industry …. the pig producers came across well and emphasised the risk of rapid spread of Swine fever in the Feral population and the importance of keeping the wild/feral population under control. I'm afraid I had to turn over when they wheeled out the "let's save the the willd piggies person" who started spouting off about how cuddly and wonderful they are and all part of the beautiful countryside! Obviously didn't rely on rearing animals for a living and didn't quite understand the risks to our farming industry as a whole. The thought of a repeat of a Foot and Mouth outbreak or an as yet unseen Swine Flu epidemic doesn't bear thinking about.
The pig farmers should have been asked to explain why selective breeding has left their pigs with a significantly compromised immune system.
 

Free range rob

Active Member
I suppose the wild boar also have been bred with a compromised immune system ?

To answer your question though, yes pigs have been selectively bred (much like every other type of food produced inc carrots and tomatoes to name a couple), and yes it possibly has affected the immune system, and the reason they have been selectively bred is it is what the consumer wants, it hasn’t been done for fun or to put pigs at risk, people didnt want traditional fatty pigs, hence a lot went on the rare breeds list, however as far as I am aware, they have never been immune to ASF, wild boar are not immune, Iron Age pigs are not immune, no swine are or have ever been immune to it,
 

Irish Bob

Well-Known Member
I suppose the wild boar also have been bred with a compromised immune system ?

To answer your question though, yes pigs have been selectively bred (much like every other type of food produced inc carrots and tomatoes to name a couple), and yes it possibly has affected the immune system, and the reason they have been selectively bred is it is what the consumer wants, it hasn’t been done for fun or to put pigs at risk, people didnt want traditional fatty pigs, hence a lot went on the rare breeds list, however as far as I am aware, they have never been immune to ASF, wild boar are not immune, Iron Age pigs are not immune, no swine are or have ever been immune to it,

I wasn't referring specifically to ASF, but the factory pig breeding industry are terrified of of anything due to the lack of immunity in their stock. I am referring to the type of "farming" where you have to shower and change to clean clothes before you enter the unit.
 

Free range rob

Active Member
I think you have a slightly tainted view on that, it’s called bio security, and is in place for a bloody good reason, and certainly NOT because the pigs in question have no immune system, or rather ‘lack of immunity’ as you put it.
Any one rearing pigs, or most animals in fact, are right to be terrified of any disease entering their system, disease is every farmers worst nightmare, and the one thing that can be tackled, hence bio security is put in place.
I have strict bio measures on my place, NO ONE goes near my pigs except those who have a specific need, not because they are lacking immunity, but because ignorant public spread disease, (refer to my original post) sometimes without even knowing they are spreading it, and all my pigs have high levels of natural immunity as they are hardy, free range, traditional breeds, but disease can wipe any animal out if given the chance.
 

Irish Bob

Well-Known Member
I disagree. Certain lines of pigs have poor immunity when compared to others. This is appears more in the intensively farmed bloodlines than the older breeds. It is the same in chickens. The intensively farmed egg producers are more susceptible to avian leukosis than the more hardy older breeds. Ask your vet.
 

Free range rob

Active Member
I disagree. Certain lines of pigs have poor immunity when compared to others. This is appears more in the intensively farmed bloodlines than the older breeds. It is the same in chickens. The intensively farmed egg producers are more susceptible to avian leukosis than the more hardy older breeds. Ask your vet.
I don’t disagree that the modern bred lines (large whites) can have a lower immunity than traditional breed, partially due to breeding, partially due to the very fast turnaround, these pigs are going slaughter at 4 months of age, I also believe they are weaned too early, but, the public want cheap, lean meat, it’s the price you pay, flavourless pork reared intensively.
But, bio security is (or at least should be) in place on every farm regardless of the farming methods, disease is indiscriminate and will kill my traditional hardy tamworth just as easy as it will an intensive large white weaner.It’s all about containment.
Nigh on 50 years farming I don’t need to ask the vet as am well aware, hence all my place is traditional breed and free range, unfortunatly there will always be a major market for intensive reared due to the population, can’t blame the farmers, supply and demand and all that, thankfully, I am seeing more folk go back to older methods and maybe eating less meat but higher quality.
 

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