Wild Boar Slaughter Ignites Nationwide Debate
Adjust font size:  ZoomIn ZoomOut

Under government-backed protection schemes, wild boars have propagated rapidly over the past 12 years. However, more and more cases of the animals invading villages have been reported recently. Thus, the question of whether to cull the animal has ignited a hot debate nationwide.

 

The first reported case of wild boars causing damage to crops was in Luan Chuan County of central China’s Henan Province, where 6,700 mu of cropland was destroyed, which leads to a loss of 500,000 kilograms of crops.

Statistics also show that over 16 Chinese provinces have reported cases of people being severely injured by boar attacks.

Zhou Bingcheng from the Anhui Forestry Administration told reporters that 30 cases of boars attacking people have been reported this year in his province.

He noted that wild boars have enough living space – in Anhui Province alone, 30 protection zones for wild boars have been set up – but the animals seem unsatisfied with the current situation, and frequently cross into human habitat.

Municipal authorities of Jixi City of northeast Heilongjiang Province, which has borne the brunt of the damage, had approved a cull of 100 wild boars before the end of December, which would be supervised and carried out by local forestry officials in designated areas.

As soon as the announcement was made, thousands of local residents signed a petition against the cull. The local authorities were forced to give up the plan.

Contrarily, Luan Chuan County completed a cull of 300 wild boars in 2001, but local residents found it was ineffective in preventing the boars’ attacks. They were not surprised when the director general of the Luan Chuan Police Department announced they would not start a new round of culling the following year.

Chen Jun from the Luan Chuan Forestry Bureau told reporters there are currently 80,000 boars within the county, and instead of killing hundreds of boars every year, at least 30,000 should be killed within 2 or 3 years, in order for the current situation to be resolved. But no authorities dare to take this drastic measure.

Some wildlife protection experts said authorities should not resort to hunting, which is an extreme method, as it could lead to excessive killings.

But Jia Zhigang, a professor of biology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, voiced a contrary opinion; he says it is actually humans who are invading wild boar territory, as the human population is increasing at a much faster speed than that of boars.

In addition, he said the conflict between human beings and wild animals has not been settled, even though 2000 animal reserves have been set up around China, covering 15 percent of the country's soil.

He suggested that in order to solve this problem, the number of wild animals within the reserves should be controlled and maintained within an appropriate proportion. Outside of these protection zones, Professor Jia says human's rights should be given the top priority.

 

(CRI November 24, 2006)