Authorities accused of not being transparent with wild boar contraceptive program

The authorities have been accused of not being transparent with their wild boar contraceptive program days after a series of wild boar attacks were reported in local media.

The pilot scheme — known as the “Capture, Contraception and Relocation/Release Programme” — was launched at the end of last year by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) in a bid to reduce the size of the wild boar population.

After the wild boars are injected with the contraceptive vaccine, they are fitted with a GPS tracking device and then relocated or released into the wild.

According to HK01, the AFCD have so far refused to disclose the progress of the scheme, but revealed that so far 33 adult wild boars have been injected with contraceptive vaccines since the launch of the program nine months ago. That’s 3.5 wild boars per month.

Roni Wong, convenor of the Wild Boar Concern Group, told HK01 that the information released by the AFCD was not enough, and that in many cases, the authorities have not listened to the concerns of animal NGOs.

Although the AFCD revealed the number of wild boars that have been desexed under the scheme, Wong says that the authorities have not disclosed details such as the location of the trial, the gender and size of the wild boars captured, and the time they were desexed, making it difficult for the public to monitor the progress of the scheme.

The details of the exact locations of the trial have not been revealed, but HK01 reports that the scheme is currently based in the Southern, Central and Western, Wan Chai, Sha Tin, and Tuen Mun districts.

The concerns come days after a wild boar in Wong Tai Sin attacked three people, two of whom were hospitalised after they were bitten by the animal.

As Coconuts HK reported earlier this year, there’s no reliable estimate on the number of boars around Hong Kong, but the contraceptive program came off the back of concerns that it was increasing and fast becoming unsustainable.

The “Capture, Contraception and Relocation/Release Programme” replaced the AFCD’s wild boar hunting scheme — suspended in early 2017 — which killed 91 wild boars between 2014 to 2016.

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