A pack of wild boars were rounded up and euthanized after one of the animals attacked a police officer in the streets of Hong Kong – the opening shot in a pitched battle between the feral hogs and the city’s law enforcement.
A group of veterinarians took seven wild boars into custody, euthanizing the beasts after knocking them out with dart guns in an area near the financial center of the city, according to a statement from Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department on Thursday.
The pigs were captured after one attacked a police officer last week, an act which reflects the city’s new policy toward the animals: stop them before they attack again.
The aggressive boar knocked down a police officer by biting his leg last week as the two faced off in a residential car park, the pig only losing the battle after falling off the building to its death. The wild boars are apparently “accustomed” to wandering back and forth along the roadway, begging for food from pedestrians and vehicles alike. Previously, the city had handled the population by capturing and sedating the animals, then relocating them to “remote areas,” according to the the department.
Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam vowed to increase penalties for those citizens found feeding the boars, which have reportedly been responsible for some 30 attacks in recent years. While residents are warned not to feed the boars so as not to encourage population growth or disease outbreaks, the animals are a favorite among some visitors. Still, Lam insisted “we can’t simply sit on our hands while things deteriorate.”
Animal rights groups have responded with a protest letter against a policy of euthanasia, pointing out that most visitors do not feed the boars and arguing resources should be directed toward stopping the human activity rather than blaming all the boars. Allowing the boars to be captured and killed “ignores their right to live and considers their existence in urban areas as a capital offense,” the letter read.
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