ANIMAL group Viva! has hit out at plans for a 'cull' of the Forest of Dean's wild boar population, which is due to start this year. The Bristol-based group, who are Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian and vegan organisation, are calling on the Forestry Commission and other parties involved to re-think the policy. Viva! founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, says: "These feral pigs are a regular attraction to visitors to the Forest of Dean and it appalling that these organisations are planning to 'cull' them, instead of recognising them as a welcomed addition to the biodiversity of the area. "Surely more compassionate solutions should be explored, instead of condemning these beautiful wild animals to death. For example, people could be encouraged to adopt measures to protect their property if they are concerned about any potential damage by the boars. "Who dictates there are too many boars in the forest as it is still a relatively rare sight to see them' I have yet to see it proven beyond doubt that this is the case. "Can a few overturned flower beds really be justification for wildlife genocide' Surely in this day and age no wildlife management issue should begin and end with a shot gun."