A FOREST councillor says the grisly discovery of a boar’s head at his front gate will not deter him from speaking out.

Cllr Richard Leppington, a UKIP councillor for Blakeney and Bream on the Forest of Dean District Council, thinks he has been targeted by animal rights activists because of his views on the boar.

He found the head and entrails left outside the front gate of his home in Bream on Sunday morning (November 1).

There was no message with the remains but the attack happened not long after a council meeting where he called for tougher action to reduce boar numbers.

The matter is being dealt with by the police who took away the animal remains for investigation.

Although Cllr Leppington thinks animal rights activists were behind the attack, no group has claimed responsibility.

“I found this on Sunday morning and called the police.

“Whoever did this must be very sick. I have elderly neighbours and people with young children.

“It was not very pleasant for them to witness this.

“However, if the people who were responsible think they will intimidate me then they are sorely mistaken.

“I will continue to represent my community on issues like boar damage.

“I spoke out about the boar at a council meeting and then the boar’s head is dumped outside my home.

“I think the two are linked.”

At the October meeting of the Forest Council, Cllr Leppington called on the authority to “regain control of the current out-of-control situation.”

He claimed the boar were causing “damage, harm and mayhem.”

He said the council should call for a target population of 90 boar in the Forest, a figure it had backed in 2012.

The Forestry Commission, which started its annual cull of boar in September, now has a target population of 400 which it believes the Forest can sustain.

Cllr Leppington said there should be an assessment of the impact of the boar on users, native animals and plants in the Forest and an investigation into the distribution of the boar.

Cllr Terry Hale (Con, Newland and St Briavels), the council’s Cabinet member for community, said the authority worked closely with the Forestry Commission but it had no legal powers to enforce its decisions.

He said he had been to Yorkley, an area which has suffered extensive boar damage recently, with a senior Forestry Commission official to see the situation.

Cllr Hale added: “It will take time to get down to that figure which is sustainable.

“They thought our figure of 90 was too low to be sustainable because of disease.

“We do a lot of education work and we are working with them (the Commission).

“There is little we can do as a council because we haven’t got the regulatory powers to enforce it.”