A local councillor for Culloden and Ardersier has warned that wild pigs are in danger of creating havoc with crops in parts of the Highlands. It is thought that the animals are a mix between domestic pig and wild boar and that they have escaped from a local farm. It is legal to farm wild boar under licence but not to release them into the wild.
The pigs have been sighted in the Strathnairn area near Inverness and councillor Roddy Balfour has told BBC Alba that there are worries that they may dig up potato crops. He said it was unlikely that the pigs are a threat to human safety but that some people might not like the idea of being too close to them. In 2002 a local landowner shot a wild boar that had been loose in the Newtonmore and Laggan areas.
The Scottish Natural Heritage is offering to advise farmers and households who may be concerned about the pigs. Last year, wild pigs were seen scavenging for food near homes in the Loch Ness area near Invermoriston. Trees for Life, a charity based in Forres, said that these pigs were not part of the group they released in 2009 on the nearby Dundreggan Estate.
It is not only Scotland having trouble with wild boar. In other parts of the UK, especially the South of England, there are problems too. DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, have said that there are an estimated twenty to thirty wild boar in West Dorset and maybe between one and two hundred in East Sussex and Kent.