Wild boar population in Sabah still low hunting ban remains
Wild boar population in Sabah still low hunting ban remains

Wild boar population in Sabah still low, hunting ban remains

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department will not lift its ban on wild boar hunting yet as the animal’s population is still low.

Its director Augustine Tuuga said that according to their observations, the number of Bornean bearded pigs remains low and had not reached a satisfactory level.

“We do not have data and this is based on casual observations on its population in protected areas,” Tuuga told The Star.

He added that they had seen some piglets and their tracks but “not what they used to be.”

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The decline is due to the African Swine Flu (ASF) outbreak, which was detected in February 2021 and has wiped out about 90% of the state’s wild boar population.

Tuuga said the ASF virus was initially detected in domestic pigs in Sabah.

ASF is a contagious haemorrhagic viral disease which is devastating to both wild and domestic pigs.

However, it cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.

“The wild boar population is recovering very slowly, even in protected areas. We believe that the situation is even worse in non-protected areas where we previously issued hunting licences.

He said the wild boar population needed to recover to ensure sustainability.

“It is best that we refrain from hunting boar and not issues licences for the time being,” he said.

Wild boar hunting is common among native communities and is also commercially popular, with some food operators offering smoked wild boar meat, known locally as Sinalau Bakas.

On a proposal by Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan to introduce the tagal system (traditional conservation method) for wild boar, Tuuga said that it has been long practised, albeit unofficially.

Tuuga said the department practices tagal by prohibiting hunting or issuance of hunting licences within protected areas but people are free to hunt in non-protected areas.

“Sogit (customary penalty) may be imposed on forest areas managed by local communities, in addition to what is provided under the law,” he said.

Sila Baca Juga

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