Action taken to keep wild boars at bay

By Li Hongyang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-16 07:39
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A wild boar and its offspring walk in the suburbs of Xi’an, Shaanxi province. NING FENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Mammal removed from list of protected species after human-animal conflicts

Wild boars have been removed from a list of protected animals in China following economic losses caused by the animals in agricultural areas, along with increasing conflicts with residents.

Experts said the decision to exclude boars from the list was based on growing concerns about their rising numbers and the detrimental impact on agricultural production.

The National Forestry and Grassland Administration removed the animals from the List of Terrestrial Wildlife With Significant Ecological, Scientific and Social Value on June 30.

The creatures have long plagued residents, especially farmers.

Despite using various methods to drive the boars away from farmland, villagers in Sichuan province, where the animals have run wild, have had little success, China Newsweek reported in 2021. The deterrents used included lighting firecrackers, banging on pots and pans, placing scarecrows and using loudspeakers.

In recent years, local media across China have reported several incidents of the boars causing harm and injuring people.

In 2016, two villagers were bitten by boars in Qianshan, Anhui province. Five years later, a village official died after being attacked by a boar in Ganzi Tibet autonomous prefecture, Sichuan, while in May, a car crashed into and killed a boar on a highway in Lu'an, Anhui.

Villagers, fearing that the boars may suddenly enter their yards and cause harm, took radical action without permission from local authorities.

Documents made public by China Judgements Online showed that in 2019, a villager named Han from Zunyi, Guizhou province, used a high-voltage trapping device without permission from the forestry authority to capture a boar in an area where hunting was prohibited. He then sold the animal to another villager for 2,000 yuan ($278).

Han was caught by police while connecting the trapping device in another location a few days later.

Police found that Han had taken part in other activities by using high-voltage traps or steel wire during the closed hunting seasons in 2018 and 2019.

In accordance with the Criminal Law and the Supreme People's Court's Interpretation of the Specific Application of Laws in the Trial of Criminal Cases Involving Destruction of Wildlife Resources, he was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for illegal hunting.

After the verdict was announced, Han filed an appeal to the court, saying he did not hunt for a living, but only to protect his crops from wild boars. He said other villagers asked for his help with this issue. The court rejected his appeal, and the original ruling was sustained.

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