Action taken to keep wild boars at bay

By Li Hongyang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-08-16 07:39
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A board warns visitors against the presence of wild boars in the Zhongshan Scenic Area near Purple Mountain in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. WANG LUXIAN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Severely affected

Sichuan is one of the provinces most severely affected by damage caused by wild boars. The provincial authorities have identified more than 820,000 of the animals, mainly in mountainous areas.

Local data show that nearly 10,000 incidents of damage have been caused by wild boars, with losses exceeding 200 million yuan annually, Sichuan Daily reported last month.

In 2021, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration announced the launch of pilot projects to prevent and control damage caused by boars in 14 provinces and regions where the animals are most prevalent. The areas include Shanxi, Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hebei and Guangdong provinces.

Data from the administration showed that 26 out of 31 provinces and regions had experienced damage caused by the animals.

Explaining the reason for the boars' removal from the list of protected animals, Sun Quanhui, a senior scientific adviser at the World Animal Protection organization, said the wild boar population in China has risen rapidly in some areas of the country in recent years.

The population growth is attributed to the positive results of environmental governance, Sun said. In addition, the absence of natural predators such as tigers, leopards, jackals and wolves has played a significant role in the wild boar population expanding, he added.

In 2000, the wild boar was included on the protected list as a terrestrial wildlife species of significant ecological, scientific and social value.

The revised list also removed several species that are widely distributed, have large populations, no risk of extinction, or may cause harm, the National Forestry and Grassland Administration said.

Before their removal from the list, wild boars were hunted by professional teams. A hunting team's license had to be reviewed by a forestry and grassland department, while a gun license was required from a public security department — a lengthy and complicated process.

Eating the meat of hunted wild boars was forbidden. The meat was bought by local authorities at the standard rate of 20 yuan ($2.78) per kilogram, which helped pay the hunting teams.

A government document released last year by the Jinzhai county forestry department in Anhui stated that boars are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Sun said, "The adjustment to the list may simplify procedures for hunting wild boars, which can lead to an increase in such activities."

Law enforcement supervision should be strengthened to prevent the opportunistic poaching of other wild animals as a result of hunting boars, he added.

"Removing boars from the list does not mean they can be hunted and killed without any legal responsibility being taken. Hunting and killing the animals in protected areas, prohibited zones, or during periods when hunting is banned is still punishable by law," he said.

The Criminal Law states that illegal hunting, purchasing, transportation and selling of wild animals in their natural environments is subject to punishment.

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