USDA seeks solutions to massive feral pig problem

A major survey of the impact feral pigs are having on crops and livestock across 11 US states is currently being carried out by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The move, which coincides with an increase in focus on wild pig problems in the UK, is designed the collect information and estimates from producers concerning the level of damage currently being caused by feral pigs across the US.

A total of 10,000 farmers are being surveyed in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. The project is described as a “first step” towards gaining a better understanding of the extent of the damage being caused, as preparation for helping USDA agencies to “devise efforts to combat this problem”.

“We believe feral pigs are a significant concern for farmers in many states,” said survey leader, Dr. Stephanie A. Shwiff, who is attached to the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. “With this survey, we are beginning the process of quantifying the extent of the problem, which should help us determine the best solution.”

She also said that feral pigs are an “invasive species” that eat and destroy many field crops, while also preying on young livestock and other small animals, carrying numerous diseases that are transferrable to livestock, humans, pets, and wildlife.

Headline image shows feral pigs in Texas, taken from a recent state government report

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