Controversial sale of wild boars from Italian President’s residence

An association for the defense of animals calls for “ethical management” of these wild animals to replace this Italian tradition

As every year, wild boars from the Italian presidential residence of Castelporziano, near Ostia, southwest of Rome, will be captured and then sold alive at auction. A controversial practice, denounced by the International Organization for Animal Protection (OIPA). This sale shows “how the Presidency of the Republic still resorts to unethical administrative procedures that treat animals as mere objects,” wrote in a statement released Thursday, the animal rights group.

The capture of these wild animals is due to begin on August 1 on the presidential property which stretches over 60 km2 along the coast. On average, 852 wild boars have been captured over the past six years, according to the secretary general of the presidency, who announced the auction last month. It is not uncommon to see wild boars coming out of wooded areas and wandering around the suburbs of Rome, attracted by the garbage overflowing from the bins.

Animals directly transported to the slaughterhouse

Only farmers who own pigsties are eligible to participate in the auction, for an average price of 110 euros for an adult boar, 60 euros for a young boar and 8 euros for a boar, according to the secretary general of the presidency. Then they “transport the captured animals from the property to their slaughterhouses so that they end up on a plate,” said OIPA, deploring this “sad end” for wild animals.

“We ask President Sergio Mattarella to put an end to these auctions, ”said OIPA spokesperson Rita Corboli, suggesting instead that a sterilization program be implemented to control the wild boar population. The OIPA calls for “ethical management” of wild animals living on land in the public domain, while “the majority of the population is against hunting and, we believe, also against the capture of live animals then sold at auction.

Auctions of this type have already taken place in recent months in parks in Lazio, the region which encompasses Rome. According to Coldiretti, the main agricultural union, Italy has around two million wild boars, which it says are responsible for extensive damage to crops and traffic accidents.

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