Letter: What a boar

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I really must protest at the one-sided platform you gave Jenny Farrant and her hop garden damage from wild boar (report, 23 October). Whilst I sympathise - I know the problems from fox damage as a sheep farmer and member of the local National Farmers' Union in Sussex - I cannot believe that we can sustain this clearance mentality for former indigenous species in this country like wild boar, wolves and bears.

We ask poor people in Asia to risk their lives and those of their babies and children by living next to tiger reserves, yet apply a different species fascism of former years to our own land. If we are going to save species like the panda, tiger and rhino, we will have to set an example to the rest of the world by acting locally. As farming goes into decline, we should set an example to the rest of the world by allocating land reserves for these species to come back and bless this land with the biodiversity we once had. This is happening in southern Africa as farming land is converted to reserve use.

I want to be able to farm this land, but I also want the indigenous species back. I am personally prepared to pay an extra price, be it taxes or subsidy, for land to be allocated as reserves, because in my mind there are levels of cruelty and perhaps levels of animal rights, but the final cruelty and the final loss of rights is extinction itself.


Heathfield, East Sussex