Monday, August 20, 2012

NParks decided on wild boar culling method

Aug 20, 2012
Animals to be rounded up, sedated then euthanised through injections

By Grace Chua And David Ee

The National Parks Board (NParks) has decided on a method to control the wild boar numbers in Lower Peirce.

It told The Straits Times that it will round them up before vets sedate them with dart guns and euthanise them with drug injections.

But it did not say when the culling will begin or how many animals will be involved.

The wild boar population in Lower Peirce has been getting out of hand, said NParks, as the animals root around for worms and insects, snap off saplings for use as nest material and pose a safety hazard when they cross roads.

They have been in the spotlight this year - in June, two animals attacked a security guard and a boy.

There are at least two herds of about 40 animals each in Lower Peirce, a population that NParks said is unsustainable.

Its decision to cull them, first publicised in June, has upset conservationists and animal welfare groups that are calling for relocation or sterilisation instead. They said there is not enough data to show that the boars are causing long-term damage to the forest.

NParks conservation division director Wong Tuan Wah said that while studies of long-term forest damage have not been done here, wild pigs have been shown to slow forest regrowth in other countries. By the time data is collected here, he pointed out, the unchecked population might be too much for local forests.

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