Government working with stakeholders to 'manage wild boar issues': MND

Government working with stakeholders to 'manage wild boar issues': MND

SINGAPORE: The Government is "working closely" with stakeholders to "manage the wild boar issues" in Singapore, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said on Monday (Nov 6) in a written reply to MP Sun Xueling.

The Pasir Ris-Punggol Member of Parliament had asked if the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) would be "implementing measures to mitigate encounters with wild boars" and ensure the safety of residents in her constituency where wild boar sightings had been reported. 

Ms Sun's question comes after a spate of incidents involving wild boars, with the latest resulting in a man in his forties suffering cuts and lacerations to his legs after being attacked near a bus stop at Hillview Road. Two wild boar-related road accidents were reported just a few weeks before. 

There have also been sightings of the animals in Tuas and the Thomson area.

MND said that together with stakeholders like the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, National University of Singapore, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and nature groups, the Government "will continue to monitor and manage the wild boar populations in their natural habitats". 

"There are not that many wild boars in our nature reserves," said MND. "But we have identified a few hotspots where the numbers are higher due to the availability of food."

MND said agencies have been removing oil palms - a "favoured food source of the boars" - from these areas. Authorities will also roll out enforcement action in places such as Pasir Ris-Punggol where people are feeding wild boars

"It is important for the public to stop this feeding because this changes the natural behaviour of the boars," said the ministry, adding that low railings will be installed at hotspots close to roads to prevent the creatures from wandering beyond the forest. 

MND also said to reduce the chances of wild boars escaping into residential areas, the National Parks Board (NParks) will continue to advise agencies and developers on shepherding wild boars to other habitats when forested state land is cleared for development.

Additionally, the Government will step up public education efforts on human-wildlife encounters, said the ministry, with AVA and NParks working on materials informing residents what to do should they encounter animals such as wild boars.

Source: CNA/hs