Not Saussure

September 30, 2006

Wild boar on the increase; possible solutions

Filed under: UK — notsaussure @ 11:16 am

Tim Worstall has noticed in The Telegraph that wild boar are making a comeback here, to the extent that they may soon become as great a problem as are urban foxes;

“Wild boar populations grow very slowly at first but there comes a point when they go through the roof,” said Martin Goulding, a former scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

“Because it has no natural predators in Britain, no lynx or wolf for example, the populations could soar at any time. They are already scavenging through bins in Berlin and could be doing the same here soon.”

Tim, quite rightly, says he isn’t too keen on re-introducing the wolf to Britain but wonders about trying to re-establish the lynx.

I’m not too sure about the lynx, lovely-looking creatures that they are, but certainly agree that re-introducing wolves wouldn’t be too smart; I couldn’t help but think that the Kazakh government rather scored an own goal when, in an attempt to undo the impression of their country given by Borat, they took four-page advertising inserts in leading American papers boasting, among other things, that their country’s attractions include

Gleaming hotels and the region’s best pastrami sandwiches, cash machines and the planet’s largest population of wolves.

A reply to Tim’s piece suggests simply re-introducing the shotgun, but Tim isn’t sure that works on boar. The solution, however, is clear; re-introduce the sport of pig-sticking, thus also giving the hunts something to do (and I doubt any but the most enthusiastic animal rights campaigner or nu-Labour MP could get quite as sentimental about bloody great big boars as they do about cute little foxy-woxies). As Lord Baden-Powell describes it,

Three or four riders form a ” party.” Beaters drive the pig out of his lair in the jungle, and the party then race after him, but for the first three-quarters of a mile he can generally outpace them.
The honours then go to the man who can first come up with and spear him. But so soon as- the boar finds himself in danger of being overtaken he either ” jinks,” that is, darts off sideways, or else turns round and charges his pursuer.

A spear-thrust, unless delivered in a vital spot, has little effect beyond making him more angry, and then follows a good deal of charging on both sides, and it is not always the boar that comes off second best.

He has a wonderful power of quick and effective use of his tusks and many a good horse has been fatally gashed by the animal he was hunting.

Among the Indian Princes and cavalry leaders are a number of good pig-stickers, and it is on this common ground of sportsmanship that our officers of both British and Indian Regiments are on such good terms of friendship.

A great man after pig was Lord William Beresford, at that time Military Secretary to the Viceroy. And I remember him taking a toss, which would have killed any ordinary man, when riding after a pig at the Stud Farm at Saharunpur.

Here the paddocks were divided by stout post and rail fences with wooden gates. His pig instead of jumping the fence charged through the gate, smashing the bottom bar, lifting the gate off the latch, so that as Beresford’s horse rose to jump it the gate swung open under him and landing on the top of it he came a heavy crumpler on the hard roadway.

But Beresford was an Irishman and no harm resulted

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  1. Also, wild boar are tasty.

    Comment by Skapusniak — September 30, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

  2. I love that last line of B-P’s.

    Comment by Simstim — September 30, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

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