Sheep killing on a Highland farm thought to be actions of wild boar
A large wild boar, estimated to weigh 24 stone (150kg), has been shot dead after being considered responsible for a spate of sheep killing on a Highland farm.
Twitter account user @highlandfowler wrote on 17 June: “A keeper friend of mine was called to help find out what was killing sheep on a nearby farm.”
“He sat up all night and shot a wild boar as it attacked sheep in the early hours of the morning.
“It weighed nearly 22 stone in the larder so an extimated (sic) 24 stone in the field.”
In 2015, vet Clare Harvey, a vet, saw a pack of six boar hunt and eat a lamb in The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. She commented: “It was quite brutal… We know pigs are omnivores and devour carrion, but this suggested they may have developed a taste for fresh meat.”
The Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association (SGA) has complained in the past of significant damage caused by the species to farmland in the west Highlands. There is said to be a growing “wild” population in parts of the Highlands, Invernesshire and the Great Glen.
Defra estimates the population in England to be 500-1000 animals but those managing land say this is a major underestimate. In fact in 2018, the National Pig Association estimated there were some 1,600 wild boar in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
BASC warns: “They have the potential for very rapid population growth if not actively managed.”
Land managers who need to control the species can learn best practice on how to hunt them responsibly by studying the new specialist BASC wild boar certificate.
Nick Lane, BASC’s senior training development and quality assurance officer, said to Shooting UK: “With an increasing population of wild boar in the UK, it is important that people are well trained to understand and humanely control these mammals. This new training course … should be considered for anyone wanting to enhance their knowledge and skills in wild boar management.”