An Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) officer defended a wild boar capture-and-kill operation Wednesday night, stressing that the process was “very humane.”
Speaking on RTHK program Millennium Thursday morning, Simon Chan, an assistant director at the AFCD, said the wild boars that were put down were a potential danger to the public.
“All around the world, generally, hunting and killing is used to reduce wild boar populations and control their disturbance,” Chan said.
Seven wild boars were put down in an operation mounted by the AFCD in Wong Chuk Hang the night before. According to a government statement, the pigs were tranquilized using dart guns on Shum Wan Road, where they have been known to roam. (In September, a wild boar snuck into the nearby Aberdeen Marina Club and took a dip in the pool.)
Bread was reportedly used to lure the pigs to the officers, a method that Roni Wong, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group, called cruel and no different from what a hunting crew would do.
“The so-called humane dispatch was done in a very concealed way,” Wong said on the same RTHK program. According to Stand News, reporters were only allowed to watch from about 100 meters away. “Is it that you didn’t want the media, or people, to see what was happening?”
Wong, who was at the scene of the operation and reprimanding officers for putting down the wild pigs, was forced by police to leave the cordoned off area.
The operation was the first since the AFCD said last Friday that it would be cracking down on Hong Kong’s wild pigs population, an announcement that came days after a boar charged at a police officer and took a chunk out of his leg.
The number of injury cases relating to boars has been on the rise in recent years, the AFCD said, with boars wandering into busy urban areas in search of food.
Chan said on the RTHK program that the department would continue carrying out capture-and-kill operations in parts of the city that wild boars tend to gather.