The number of wild boar killed by the Hong Kong government has tripled in a year, after officials launched a scheme to euthanise the animals when they encroach on urban areas.

According to figures submitted to the Legislative Council, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department killed 330 wild boar between April last year and February this year.

wild boar
File Photo: Wild Boar Concern Group.

The figure was triple the previous year’s number. Between April 2021 and March 2022, the department “humanely dispatched” 105 wild boars.

The administration dropped its trap, neuter, return (TNR) policy, under which wild pigs in urban areas were captured and returned to the wild, in November 2021. The policy change came after a police officer was bitten by a wild boar in Tin Hau.

The new strategy of killing them was slammed by a concern group at the time. The Hong Kong Wild Boar Concern Group said the government had refused to meet them to discuss the new policy.

The department has killed 417 wild boars since the new scheme was launched. In the same period, it received 47 reports of injuries caused by the beasts.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

The feeding of wild animals anywhere in the city has also been banned since last December, with offenders liable to a HK$10,000 fine. Previously, the ban was only applicable to areas such as Lion Rock Country Park and Kam Shan Country Park.

According to documents submitted to the Legislative Council, the government prosecuted 101 people for illegal feeding between April last year and February this year, with 79 prosecutions successful.

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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.