IWT objects to classification of Wild Boar

Jun 07

The IWT has made a submission to the risk assessments published recently by the Government.

The IWT is against the illegal release of wild boar/hybrid/feral pigs. Any reintroduction of wild boar would have to be preceded by a detailed feasibility study and consultation process and if deemed feasible and acceptable by members of the public then only genetically pure wild boar should be selected for release. The reintroduction of wild boar could have a positive impact on Irish forest ecosystems by restoring the natural disturbance regime caused by wild boar rooting which encourages tree regeneration, increases ground flora species diversity and controls bracken and bramble based on data from Britain and Europe (see above). However, given the length of time that boar have been extinct here, studies should be conducted in a controlled situation to investigate the impacts this species would have on Irish ecosystems, particularly their interactions with woodland flora and invasive species, before a reintroduction is even considered. This would be in agreement with the precautionary principle.

We also accept that wild boar can have negative economic impacts on human activities through crop damage, rooting of amenity areas, diseases and road traffic accidents and that management of a reintroduced population would be required to minimize these impacts.

The full text of our submission can be downloaded here.