A wild boar NGO has condemned recent calls for the government to bring back hunting teams to control Hong Kong’s wild boar population, calling the suggestion a “bloodcurdling idea.”
The government scrapped their wild boar hunting scheme in 2017 and replaced it with a pilot scheme known as the “Capture, Contraception and Relocation/Release Programme”, wherein wild boars are captured, sterilized, fitted with a GPS tracking device, then relocated or released into the wild.
But with boar encounters on the rise — there 679 reported sightings as of October, putting 2018 on track to have the most ever recorded — some politicians have suggested that the pilot scheme is ineffective, and have called for new solutions. So far, proposals have included marooning boars on uninhabited islands (uh, they can swim) and reintroducing natural predators (because tigers and Asian leopards apparently aren’t a nuisance). It’s even been suggested that the hunting teams be brought back to control the wild boar population.
But in a petition posted online this morning, the Wild Boar Concern Group spoke out against that suggestion, saying “some antagonistic voices against wild boars have revived demanding the re-introduction of the wild boar hunting team.”
The NGO described the suggestion as a “bloodcurdling idea”, insisting that Hong Kong is a city that cares for animals.
Indeed, in at least one case, a less-than-humane, and apparently unauthorized attempt at boar control had unintended consequences for other fauna: namely, man’s best friend. Earlier this week, Clooney Yeung, a resident in Yuen Long posted on social media that a dog had been caught in a trap that was meant for capturing wild boars.
Yeung told HK01 that villagers had been looking for the dog since she was reported missing on Monday evening, and that on Tuesday she was found with her head stuck inside the trap behind a temple in the village of Shek Tong Tsuen. The 3-year-old mutt’s eyes were bloodshot, and hours after she was freed her neck began to swell. The dog, thankfully, survived the ordeal.
Yeung told the website that villagers have found wild boar traps placed around the village at least three times in the past year, but that no one knows who has been setting them up.
According to the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, anyone found guilty of possessing hunting equipment without a special permit, or of hunting wild animals without permission can be handed a HK$50,000 (US$6,370) fine. Meanwhile those found guilty of cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance can be fined up to HK$200,000 (US$25,500) and jailed for up to three years.
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