Proposal: Use assault rifles in Sweden’s wild-boar hunt

Radio SwedenEye on the Arctic

An officer with Sweden's military wants to enlist soldiers armed with assault rifles in an effort to stem the rapid growth of the nation’s wild-boar population.

The major’s proposal has been sent to 43 land owners in southern Sweden, where wild boars are spreading and causing trouble for locals. The idea is that soldiers will practice sharp shooting with AK4s, using boars as targets.

One landowner in the southern region of Skåne told Swedish Radio that he is open to the idea. “If it is done in accordance with the law and hunting ethics, then absolutely,” said Nils Gyllenkrok.

However, Jesper Tengroth, a spokesman for the Swedish Armed Forces, was not as enthusiastic, saying: “We can support society in crisis situations, but this proposal does not fall within our remit.”

Today, there are around 200,000 wild boars in Sweden, compared to just 5,000 in the mid-1990s. In 2013, 152 dogs were killed or injured by wild boars, compared to just four in 2006, a report from animal insurance company Agria showed.

Wild boars are now often spotted near residential areas, where they cause trouble by digging up gardens, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported. In five Swedish regions where wild boars can now be found, the animals have caused damages costing each farmer in those regions about $15,200, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences found.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.