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Wild boar, bows and arrows

wild boar

There are thought to be as many as 2.3 million wild boar in Italy

The hunting of wild boar with a bow and arrow in the north-western Italian region of Liguria has been legalised thanks to the efforts of Councillor Alessio Piana. The Ligurian Regional Council recently approved an amendment that allows wild animals to be killed with bows and arrows. Wild boar, deer, and mouflon can all now be killed with these, as the Telegraph puts it, “barbaric and anachronistic tools”.

Councillor Piana, a hunter, was strongly criticised by animal rights activists and some political opponents for the move. Piana justified his actions as a “clarification” of an existing national law. About 90,000 people signed an online petition against hunting with bows and arrows, calling the practice “medieval”.

There is, however, a serious boar problem in Italy. In 2010, the population was already half a million and it is claimed by the Coldiretti Farmers Association that there may now be as many as 2.3 million boar in the country.

In 2022, the Guardian reported that due to the 25,000 boar living in and around Rome, picnics had to be banned in an attempt to limit their incursions.

Hunting anything with arrows in the UK is illegal and is generally regarded as being best confined to medieval paintings and tapestries. However, there is a growing interest in the pursuit among British ‘hunters’.

Shooting Times’ Charlie Blance, a deer manager in the Highlands, is currently bowhunting in the USA. She believes it is a much-misunderstood method of hunting. However, when she has mentioned it in these pages previously, the letters from outraged readers pour in.

This story first appeared in Shooting Times, Britain’s oldest and best-selling shooting magazine. Published every Wednesday, the 141-year-old title has long been at the coalface of the countryside, breaking the stories that matter to you. Subscribe here.