An action plan is required to control the spread of wild boar across Wales and prevent the variety of associated negative impacts they can have on livestock, public health and the landscape, BASC has told politicians and candidates ahead of the upcoming Senedd elections.

In its Manifesto for Sustainable Shooting Sports, launched this week, BASC urges all Members of the Senedd to acknowledge the role shooting plays in Wales’ environment and rural economy and the physical and mental wellbeing benefits.

Four key policy proposals are set out in the manifesto, one of which – Species conservation management – highlights the threat wild boar pose and calls for the production of a five-year Feral Wild Boar Management Action Plan for Wales.

BASC Wales director Steve Griffiths said the chief concerns regarding increased population size and spread of wild boar were road traffic accidents, damage to agriculture and landscape and the impact of wild boar breaking into farms which could include the transmission of disease – especially into the domestic pig herds of Wales, damage and escapees.

He said: “Feral wild boar are established in Wales but are currently mostly confined to the south east of the country, mainly to the east of the River Wye.

“There is a growing concern over the expanding wild boar population in the Forest of Dean and some wild boar releases in South Wales, too. They have been spotted in Bridgend and Monmouthshire. Apart from the extensive damage to road verges, village greens, gardens and football pitches for example, they contribute to an increased number of road traffic accidents, which can be fatal. If African Swine Fever ever got to the UK, the wild boar population could further its transmission.”

Mr Griffiths said Defra had a Feral Wild Boar Action Plan, but the Welsh Government has not yet published a plan for Wales.

He added: “What is needed in Wales is an action plan that will enable us to get in control of the population, further our understanding of their ecology and benefit from the sale of wild boar meat.

“The Defra plan helps protect domestic farming herds from disease and habitat in England, and it is vital that Wales develops and implements a management plan while there is still an opportunity and time to control the spread of wild boar across the country.”

BASC Wales is calling on candidates in the upcoming Senedd elections to recognise the value of shooting to Wales with the launch of the new manifesto – read more here.

To read the manifesto, click here for the English version or click here for the Welsh version.