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What Threat do Wild Boar Pose to UK Farmers?

9 July 2015, at 12:00am

UK - As cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Europe continue to rise Sophie Dunkerley, AEGIS London’s Class Underwriter for livestock, discusses how much of a threat wild boar pose to farmers in the UK.

Earlier this year, there were calls for a cull of wild boars in the UK following the death of a motorist whose car struck one of the animals on the M4 in Wiltshire. Days later, Princess Anne revealed publically that one of her prize pigs has been killed by a wild boar in Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire.

Once native to the UK, wild boars became extinct around 300 years ago. But following numerous escapes and deliberate releases from private collections and farms, the animal has re-established itself in areas such as Kent, Sussex, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Scotland and the Forest of Dean.

The keeping of farmed wild boars is controlled under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Ms Dunkerley commented: “While wild boars certainly have the potential to attack pets and farm animals, the key insurance concern is the potential spread of ASF, where re-emergence has been linked to the movement of wild boar."

"In several European countries ASF outbreaks show a westward trend and increasing populations of wild boar raise the risk of Swine Fever spreading.

"Although it may not be an immediate risk, the risk should be considered as an emerging one, especially if Swine Fever becomes endemic within the wild boar population.”

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