USDA working to reduce feral hogs on a national level

Feb 1, 2015

Feral hogs are expanding their range, and now reside in more than 40 states.  They cause about $1.5 billion in damage every year reports Kansas Agland.

Charlie Lee is a wildlife management for Kansas State University Research and Extension.  He says the pigs damage crops, can kill young livestock and wildlife, destroy property, damage plant communities, and can carry diseases that threaten livestock.

That’s why the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, wants to reduce feral hog damage on a national level.

APHIS is considering sport hunting and trapping to manage the feral hog population.

Lee says the population must be reduced by about 70 percent each year just to keep up with reproduction.  Feral hogs can have up to three litters a year with a dozen or so piglets in each litter.

Lee went on to say, “unless steps are taken, we could have a major train wreck because of the disease threats that feral hogs pose to our domestic swine operations, and the ecological damage will continue.”