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Occurred commonly in the wild in Britain until the 18th century, but began to become scarcer in the sixteenth century. In the South of France and Italy they also became extinct earlier this century, but were reintroduced with new stock from Poland. They are now causing serious problems in the former country where they become urbanised (rather like foxes in Britain, only rather more dangerous, particularly when they have young).
They are farm reared in this country under free-range conditions.
There are specific terms for farmed boars at their different ages
Marcassin an animal of under 6 months
Bete Rousse between 6 months and a year
Bete de compagnie between one and two years
Although boar can live for up to 30 years, once they have grown their tusks, after about two years, their meat becomes too stringy to be marketed as a roasting joint, and they are suitable only for sausages or salami.
For stockists of Wild Boar see our mail order section.