Wild boar in parts of Here-fordshire could be killed as part of a Government strategy to deal with the animals.

The move forms part of a consultation on the future of boar in England, which will end tomorrow.

Wild boar were hunted to extinction in the UK during medieval times but in the past few years colonies have been re-established in parts of Britain, Herefordshire.

Boars have also been spot-ted in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, where farm-ers have complained the animals have harmed crops and other animals.

Meanwhile, a boar hunt took place yesterday to round up scores of the animals who were set free from a farm in Devon by animal activists.

Hunters on quad bikes searched for the 60 boars on the loose from a 100-strong, £300,000 herd.

The boars were set free on December 22 when a wire fence was cut at the Woodland Wild Boar Farm near South Molton, Devon.

The population of boar in the Midlands is estimated to be about 50, with various sightings near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire and parts of south Warwickshire.

The Government is asking the public whether boar should stay - or be wiped out.

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has highlighted a range of options from eradicating the animals, controlling their numbers, or leaving them alone.

Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight said: "These new breeding populations are small - only about 500 animals in total - but they are significant, and we expect them to grow.

"This may have implications for farming, woodlands and parklands, wildlife, and the wider countryside and rural economy."

Mr Knight said people were being asked to give their views on a range of issues surrounding feral wild boar, including disease risk, potential for damage to crops and property, effects on animal exports, animal welfare, conservation and biodiversity, game and shooting interests, and human safety.

The main population of wild boar in England is in Kent and Sussex, while there are also some in Dorset.