In France boar are shot by hunters, and the hunters are paid by farmers so that the damage done to their crops is kept under control. Over the last five years the number for has increased dramatically and it’s now thought they are about 2 million within the borders of France.
This is partly down to the fact that warmer temperatures are meaning that there is more food for mothers and their young and less harsh Winters to kill off some of the boar. This combined with the fact that boar can have 3 litters every 2 years, and they can have 10 young in a litter or on occasion even more, leads to the ability for an exploding population.
Boar are also killed in their thousands by high speed cars and trains, but these have been greatly reduced during the shutdown as well.
The rooting behaviour of boar can destroy large areas of crops rapidly. Also the wheat and other crops that boar will eat when they can are often bordered by pine forests, which are perfect places for them to shelter.
One hunter gave his own recent statistics as a demonstration, saying in the past that he would kill one or perhaps two during a season. But he said that last year while he only killed two during hunts, opportunistic kills of animals he encountered when in the car bought this number up to 17.
The farming associations are on the hook when numbers go too high, as it is their job to control boar numbers when they rise they pay the compensation claims which in 2019 accounted for 60 million euro, a law which they feel is increasingly unfair are particularly as under current circumstances they can’t do anything about it as they are stuck inside.
It is still my view that in the long term France as the UK needs predators who will control these populations rather than human hunters to do the job. A healthy population wolves bears and lynx would take a significant number of humbugs (baby boar) each year if given the chance.