Wild boar caught on Rome nature reserves put up for auction alive.
Animal rights activists are protesting the sale at auction of live wild boar, captured on the Marcigliana and Insugherata nature reserves around Rome, for a reported price tag of €1 a kilo.
RomaNatura, the regional body that manages the two protected areas, put the wild animals up for auction, according to the Roman branch of the International Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA).
"In the management of the fauna of the capital and the Regione Lazio we are still very far from the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty of 2007, which protects animals as “sentient beings," stated Rita Corboli of OIPA.
The animal rights organisation called on the Lazio region and relevant authorities to adopt "non-violent" wildlife management methods and "to change tack by showing greater respect for all animals."
"To sell live wild boar captured in protected parks to turn them into meat for slaughter in hunting farms or to breeding farms for food is questionable at the very least," said Rita Corboli of OIPA Roma.
"The sad auction by RomaNatura is not an isolated case" - reads a statement on the OIPA website - "A similar wild boar auction was held last October by the Veio Regional Natural Park."
The news, widely-reported by Italian media, comes five months after a controversy arose over the killing of a wild boar mother and piglets in a children's playground near St Peter's in Rome.
There is an estimated population of one million wild boar, or cinghiali, in Italy. The tusked animals can weigh up to 140 kg and are extremely dangerous if disturbed while with their young.