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NatureScot says wild boar are ‘non-native feral pigs’

NatureScot says boar in Scotland are a mix of domestic pigs and wild boar, so are non-native species.

A reintroduction expert has criticised NatureScot for labelling wild boar as “feral pigs” and targeting them as a non-native, invasive species. Derek Gow posted on X (formerly Twitter) on 24 January that “this will be the only time ever we 

have exterminated a native species twice”.

A NatureScot post on X urges members of the public to report sightings of feral pigs. Scotland’s nature agency says that breeding populations of non-native feral pigs have become established in Scotland as a result of escapes or illegal releases. It claims these animals come from a mix of wild boar and domestic pigs and, as such, they are not native to Scotland. 

A NatureScot spokesman commented: “Feral pigs breed prolifically and, if uncontrolled, their rooting behaviour can cause damage to the environment and to property. In particular, they pose a major threat to agricultural crops and pig farms and may undermine efforts to control future outbreaks of animal disease. 

“In Scotland, the primary responsibility for controlling feral pigs lies with individual land managers. NatureScot has developed best practice advice to help [them] to control feral pig populations safely and humanely.”