Norway battles wild boar ‘invasion’

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Norway is trying to fend off an invasion that neither border guards, police nor the military can stop: Wild boars are crossing the border from Sweden in record numbers. Now both the environmental directorate and the country’s animal and food safety authority are allowing new hunting methods aimed at stopping wild boar from establishing themselves in Norway.

“It’s been several hundred years since wild boars were common here,” Erik Lund of the Norwegian environmental directorate told state broadcaster NRK on Thursday. “From an animal welfare perspective, wild boar can spread disease that’s fatal for livestock.”

State authorities are set to allow the use of artificial light while hunting at night. They noted that wild boars are active at night and seek out food in areas of tight vegetation. Artificial light will make it easier to hunt them down.

Sweden’s large and troublesome wild boar population has been spreading into Norway, showing up for the first time in areas as far north as Trøndelag. The boars’ territory can spread at a rate of around three kilometers a year, from the southeast and deeper into Østfold, up to Akershus and southern Hedmark.

“This is a large and growing problem,” Håkon Tolsby, mayor of the small community of Aremark near the border to Sweden, told NRK. He’s glad hunters will now be able to hunt at night.

“We think there are as many as 200 wild boars in Aremark and we can’t manage to hold the population down,” Tolsby said. “It grows every year, even though we’re shooting a lot.”

newsinenglish.no staff