Wild Pig Nuisance
Wild Pig or Eurasian Wild Pig (Sus scrofa) is the largest native terrestrial mammal in Hong Kong: the adults weigh up to 200 kg and reach a body length up to 2 m. They have thick and short bristly coats of brownish grey to black colour. Young wild pigs are born with a coat of chocolate and cream coloured stripes along their torso. This pattern fades within the first six months to one year. Adult males have tusks for fighting.
Wild pigs are common and widespread in Hong Kong, especially in the countryside areas. They are widely distributed in habitats like forests, grasslands and farm areas, etc. Being omnivorous, they use their nose to sniff out food including roots, bulbs, and small animals (e.g. insects or earthworms) living underground.
In general, wild pigs are secretive and wary of human contact. However, if provoked or threatened they may become aggressive and may attack humans, particularly dominant males or sows with piglets.
Wild Pig Nuisance
Some wild pigs intrude into villages and urban areas in search of food, causing disturbance and damage of crops and personal properties. In order to reduce the nuisance caused by wild pigs, preventive measures are recommended as follows:
New management strategy for wild pigs
The Government has all along been very concerned about the nuisance and potential threats to the public caused by wild pigs. Incidents of wild pigs appearing and causing nuisance in urban areas have occurred more frequently in recent years, while injury cases caused by wild pigs have also shown a notable rise. The surging trend in the number of injury cases clearly shows that wild pigs have already posed very serious threats to public safety. Wild pigs are dangerous wild animals, especially those which have accustomed to scavenging and being fed in urban areas, or which are huge in size. When seeking food from members of the public, wild pigs may bite or knock people down, or even harm other people nearby. At the same time, wild pigs may also transmit zoonotic diseases (such as tuberculosis, hepatitis E, influenza A and Streptococcus suis infection), thereby posing threats to public health. It is necessary for the Government to take decisive actions to tackle wild pig issues.
To cope with the festering nuisance of wild pigs, under the premises of safeguarding public safety and maintaining public hygiene, the AFCD announced new measures in November 2021. Regular wild pig capture operations will be conducted with priority given to sites with large numbers of wild pigs, and those sites with past injury cases or with wild pigs which may pose risks to members of the public. Furthermore, upon receiving reports about wild pig sightings in urban areas or residential areas from citizens or other government departments, the AFCD will also perform ad hoc operations to capture the wild pigs which pose potential danger or cause nuisance to members of the public. During the operations, the AFCD will use dart guns with anaesthetics to capture the wild pigs, and perform humane dispatch on the captured wild pigs through medicine injection.
Besides capture operations, the AFCD will continue the multipronged approach to control wild pig nuisance. Given that wild pig nuisance is largely caused by intentional feeding, the AFCD is exploring amendments to the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170), in order to expand the feeding ban area for wild animals and to raise the penalty amount to minimise the pull factor drawing wild pigs to urban areas. Moreover, the AFCD will strengthen publicity and education to educate the public not to feed wild pigs.
Wild pig capture operations
Since the announcement of the new strategy in November 2021, the AFCD captured and dispatched 114 wild pigs as at 29 June 2022. The number of wild pigs captured and humanely dispatched are as follows.
What should I do if I see a wild pig?
When a wild pig is posing immediate threats to life and property, you should report to the police by calling 999 for emergency assistance.
If you are disturbed by wild pigs or find any wild pig injured or trapped, or straying in urban areas, you may call 1823 to notify AFCD for follow-up actions.
Please click the icon to download leaflet of "Hong Kong Wildlife: Wild Pig"