Gray squirrel is causing a lot of damage in the UK. That is why it was decided to put the animal on a pill. This approach has been used for some time in other countries; There are also pigeons, horses, and elephants that receive contraception via food or vaccination.
In the Netherlands, fishermen are preventing overpopulation. Two million animals are shot each year, including roe deer, red deer, fallow deer and wild boar. These animals have no natural enemies in Holland.
Hunter Koen van Weelden tries to keep the wild boar population under control at Milsbeek in Limburg. “They multiply quickly and cause a lot of agricultural damage here. They also end up on the road and cause accidents.”
Difficult to feed
He couldn’t imagine that the pill would be an option for pigs. “I know how hard it is to shoot a wild boar, let alone feed them a pill. I don’t know how to do that.”
According to reproductive expert Tom Stout, this is a really difficult task. However, we can put other animals on contraception. “For some animals, this is definitely an option. It depends on the animal and how accessible it is. Konik’s horses and cattle can be hunted together and then given a pill.”
Spreading the pill in the woods is not an option; That would be dangerous because other animals would also eat it. In this way, other animals can also become sterile.
According to Koen van Weelden, there is only one solution for wild boars: killing animals. “We can try to drive them away, which happens a lot, but that actually changes the problem. If you want to keep the population under control, hunting is the only effective way.”
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