National Pig Association (NPA) chief executive, Dr Zoe Davies, turned up the heat on Defra and the Forestry Commission today concerning the urgent need to bring wild boar numbers in the Forest of Dean under control.
Addressing an open session of the National Farmers Union (NFU) council, she called for a wild boar cull in the area to reduce the disease threat to the UK pig population, posed by the rising feral population.
“We’ve obviously had various discussions about the problem within NPA and with the NFU’s wildlife team,” she told Pig World. “We now need to increase the pressure on Defra to review their action plan on the issue while, at the same time, putting more pressure on the Forestry Commission.”
With today’s comments to the union meeting drawing immediate twitter activity from the general farming press, Dr Davies (pictured) said she was pleased that the need for a cull was being given a higher profile.
“The more people who know about this the better,” she said, pointing out that feral wild boar numbers in the Forest of Dean, and the surrounding area, were already said to have passed the 1,000-animal figure, with the Forestry Commission openly admitting it had failed to control the population growth.
NFU delegates were also told that feral numbers had already gone beyond the level where disease recirculation could be controlled if a problem arose, a fact which has serious health and export business implications for the UK pig industry.