Boar hunting will return to parts of English woodland after a selective cull was

sanctioned yesterday.

Wild boars are breeding rapidly in Kent, East Sussex, West Dorset, the Forest of Dean, the fringes of Dartmoor and other parts of Devon, and Biodiversity Minister Joan Ruddock said that local communities must decide on the numbers that need to be culled.

Farmers claim that wild boar may spread diseases such as foot and mouth and Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and, while official figures put the wild boar population at 1,000, some countryside groups put that figure nearer to 5,000.

Wild boar have recently been spotted at pheasant shoots in East Somerset, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, which are all areas that the Government says are clear of boar.

Butchers and restauranteurs are already reporting a growing demand for the wild game meat, and the Food Standards Agency is currently preparing guidelines on how to safely prepare the meat for food.

Some boar hunting is already taking place on private land but, after the selective cull was sanctioned yesterday, boar hunting will return to many other parts of English woodland.

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