Farmscape for March 18, 2022
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The Saskatchewan Pork Development Board is encouraging the public to immediately report wild boar and other feral pig sightings.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture has introduced enhanced measures to control feral pigs, including a moratorium on new commercial wild boar farms, developing regulations for licensing existing farms and enhancing surveillance and control. Mark Ferguson, the General Manager of the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board, says the biggest contribution the public can make is to report sightings.
Clip-Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
We know there are feral pigs across the province. When we say feral pigs that’s wild boar and perhaps that could consist of other crosses that may have occurred between domestic escaped pigs and wild boar so there’s some different animals that could encompass but it’s basically pigs in the wild in Saskatchewan. The wild boar problem in the province started in the mid to late 1990’s.
At that time, they were encouraging wild boar farms in the province and unfortunately some of those animals escaped or were released and that’s basically how the problem started. They are a species that does have a great ability to reproduce so once they are in an area, they are able to expand their population so that’s one problem. Secondly, they damage property. The can get into crop and pasture land and dig it up and eat crop. The other thing, that is most concerning to the hog industry, is they can act as a reservoir for diseases that affect domestic swine, such as African Swine Fever. When that gets into the wild pig population it’s a major problem and we’ve seen that in Europe. Those are the three largest issues with wild boar.
Sask Pork operates the PIG-SPOT hotline. Ferguson encourages the public to immediately report all wild boar and feral pig sightings by calling 1-833-PIG-SPOT.
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