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Wild boar hunted to brink of extinction in Sussex.
WILD boars are being hunted to the brink of extinction in Sussex.
Numbers of the creatures have plummeted in recent years as people have turned to the forests for the chance to catch themselves a feast.
But now some are calling for hunting restrictions to be brought in to try to prevent the wild hogs from dying out.
It is believed up to 400 live in woodland on the Sussex/Kent border.
With Wild Boar Week in Rye starting on October 27, Jamie Wickens has taken the opportunity to highlight the worrying decline of the creatures in the county.
The butcher, who works at The Ship in Winchelsea, said he wanted Defra to introduce an official hunting season for wild boar to allow them to breed.
He said: “The numbers have gone down dramatically.
“I get offered far fewer than I used to.
“When they first started they were plentiful.
“There is no defined season for hunting. I think it would help enormously.
“If it was policed as deer hunting is, where you have a certain season and specific calibre of rifle,it would be a lot better than people just doing it whenever.
Free for all “At the moment it is a free for all.
“It would be a shame if they were obliterated and never to be seen again.”
It is believed the first wild boars may have escaped from private land after the Great Storm in 1987 and have lived feral ever since.
Mr Wickens said there were still responsible people hunting the boar, who only shot them at the right time, such as avoiding when they have young or when they are weaning their infants.
He added the introduction of a season could be helpful in promoting the meat.
“I have always seen it as a meat for autumn or winter,” he said.
“It might make people’s eating habits change.
“I like to keep seasonal food otherwise you become like a supermarket and it becomes boring – nothing is special.
“It gives you a reason to look forward to autumn and winter with game season. You can really enjoy it.”
For those who have never tried wild boar, Mr Wickens said it tastes like a cross between pork and venison.
Favoured recipes include braised boar in a dark chocolate sauce or a chop with mash and a rich red wine reduction gravy.
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