Rome to cull wild boar

Culling of Rome's wild boar is a marked change in direction for Raggi's hitherto animal-friendly administration.

The wild boar that congregrate in the parks and streets of Rome's suburbs are to be culled or, when possible, caught and sent to farms for "food purposes", following measures approved by the city's administration led by mayor Virginia Raggi.

The resolution, which is to be signed with the Lazio Region, is justified by the "data on road accidents in urban and semi-urban areas caused by wild boar", according to Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano.

Euthanised

The "direct control" and the "removal" of the boar will be carried out by the veterinary service of the city's public health service, in accordance with protocol established by Italy's environmental protection agency ISPRA.

The cinghiale is first anesthetised before being "euthanised".

Rome's overflowing bins provide rich pickings for wild boar. Photo Adnkronos.

In other cases, the boar can be caught in cages and traps, and taken alive for breeding for food purposes to two farms north of Rome, one in Viterbo and the other in Cerveteri.

Citizens can contact the city to report sightings of the animals, which are usually attracted by Rome's over-flowing rubbish bins, and there are reportedly plans for an app to map the presence of wild boar.

Residents' complaints

The move follows calls for action by residents of northern suburbs such as Monte Mario and southern areas such as Spinaceto, on the fringes of the Decima Malafede nature reserve, who have long complained of problems caused by wild boar.

In recent months local residents reported that wild boar are rummaging through street bins and walking through parks and private gardens on a daily basis, as well as being an intimidating presence near playgrounds and causing multiple near-miss road accidents for motorists.

Policy shift

The culling plan represents a marked change in direction for the animal-rights credentials of Raggi's adminstration which over the past three years has sought to curb the circulation of "botticelle" horses on city streets, outlawed the destruction of swallows' nests, and even announced plans to use sheep and cows to graze overgrown parks.

Wild boar in Italy

There is an estimated Italian population of one million wild boar. The tusked animals can weigh up to 140 kg and are particularly dangerous if disturbed while with their young.