Czechs plan to wage war on wild boar population

Wild boar are said to be breeding all year thanks to milder winters. Picture: PA
Wild boar are said to be breeding all year thanks to milder winters. Picture: PA
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THE Czech Republic is planning to wage war on its booming wild boar population in an attempt to curb the level of destruction caused by the voracious ­animals.

Amendments to the hunting law to be introduced by the Czech agriculture ministry will replace the November to January hunting season with an all-year round season.

Up until now hunters in the Czech Republic have culled around 170,000 boars each year but this has not been enough to stop the population from flourishing.

“The main reason for the changes to the law are the changes to the boars’ behaviour,” ­Marian Jurecka, the Czech agriculture minister, told a Czech newspaper. “For example, the mating season, which used to run from November to January, now ­continues all year.”

A series of mild winters and a lack of natural predators such as wolves have caused the Czech boar population to rise to more than 300,000. The animals have also benefited from increasing numbers of farmers growing maize, a favourite piggy snack. With more food in their bellies boars are growing faster and hitting sexual maturity earlier, which means more of them searching for more food destined for human consumption.

Estimates put the cost of boar damage to crops and land in the Czech Republic each year at more than £81 million.

Frantisek Marianek, from the local agriculture chamber of commerce in the eastern town of Ostrava, said: “Wild boar cause almost 90 per cent of all damage done to fields each year.”

The problem has reached such a level that experts have told farmers to limit the width of fields to 200 metres. This makes it easier to monitor boar damage and also hunt them as big fields provide them with cover.

As well as making their presence felt in the countryside boars have also moved into the urban environment. Sometimes forced into towns as suburbs encroach on their woodland habitat, boars have become a familiar and sometimes unwanted sight in towns and villages.