Hong Kong authorities captured and killed seven wild boars on Wednesday night after using bread as bait in the first catch-and-kill operation, after the city announced its reversal on the trap, neuter, return (TNR) policy last week.

A wild pig capture operation was conducted in Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) and the police. Ming Pao and Stand News reported that, after police cordoned off the area, AFCD officers put bread on the ground to lure wild pigs from a hill nearby.

A group of wild pigs eating bread thrown by AFCD officers in Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen on November 18, 2021. Photo: Stand News, via video screenshot.

Seven wild pigs were anaesthetised with dart guns before being humanely euthanised, according to an AFCD press statement on Wednesday night.

The government’s policy reversal came after a boar bit a police officer in Tin Hau last week. The boar fell to its death from a car park, while the officer suffered injuries his his right calf and buttocks.

‘Abhorrent and bloody’

SPCA Hong Kong, Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group, and the Democratic Party criticised the authorities’ move. Roni Wong, a spokesperson for the concern group who witnessed the culling operation, told Commercial Radio on Thursday said he was disgusted that officers had used bread as bait.

“The most despicable action was that AFCD threw pieces of bread in the middle of the road to lure some pigs,” he said. “It was an abhorrent and bloody thing to do.”

Roni Wong, a member of the Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group being taken away from the police cordon on November 18, 2021. Photo: Stand News, via video screenshot.

At one point during the operation, Wong barged through the police cordon only to be subdued by officers and removed from the vicinity, a Stand News video showed. Wong said on Thursday that he was attempting to herd the wild animals back to the hill.

In a Facebook post last night, SPCA “condemned” the government operation, and said that while they had expressed their “concerns and disagreement” with the approach, their “voice has been ignored and not been addressed.”

“The SPCA restates that a non-lethal approach to wildlife management is always preferred, and is against the idea of hunting boars as this proved to be problematic on several fronts,” the SPCA Facebook post read.

The Democratic Party’s Southern District team, which included party Chairperson Lo Kin-hei , on Wednesday labelled the bait-and-kill approach “extremely inhumane.”

“The Southern District team thinks that the reversal in policy was obviously directly linked to the police officer being attacked… the changes ignored years of results with ‘trap, neuter and return’,” the statement read.

At the same time, the group urged the public to stop feeding wild pigs, saying it only encouraged the animals to get used to being fed by humans, which gives the the government “an excuse to bait and kill.”

HKFP has reached out to the AFCD for comment.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.