County moves ahead with plan to ban wild boar

Wild boar are not welcome in Red Deer County.

Wild boar are not welcome in Red Deer County.

The municipality is moving ahead on a bylaw to ban wild boar and to amend a general penalty bylaw to include stiff fines for those who break the rules. Under the bylaw given first and second readings on Tuesday, wild boars will be prohibited and cannot fall under the meaning of “raising of livestock.” A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24, followed by third reading.

A wild boar-raising facility is already located in the county in the Penhold area. As existing legislation stands, raising wild boar could be interpreted as falling within the definition of an agricultural operation and, is therefore, allowed.

If passed, the new regulation changes will close that loophole. Those who break the rules face a $4,000 penalty for a first offence, increasing to $6,000 and $8,000 on second and subsequent offences.

The existing facility is allowed to continue because it was there before the regulation changes.

Mayor Jim Wood remains adamantly opposed to allowing wild boar in the county.

“I truly believe we’re going in the right direction with this,” he said, during council debate on the bylaw changes. “I don’t believe this is taking away the right to eat food. These animals are for hunting purposes.

“We’re talking about hunt farms. We’re not talking about somebody’s ability to eat.”

Wood said other jurisdictions have learned the hard way what devastation wild boar can leave behind if they escape their enclosures and begin breeding in the wild.

Mountain View County is among Central Alberta jurisdictions to recently prohibit wild boar.

Outside the wild boar hunting community, there is little support for raising wild boar, Wood believes.

“The comments I’m hearing from the general public so far is that no one wants an animal that dangerous near them or their family or their kids.”

Wild boar are covered under the province’s Agricultural Pests Act, which gives municipality’s and landowners the power to eradicate the boar on their land. The province has not banned boar ranches, but has a long list of regulations concerning fencing and other measures that must be obeyed.

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