Threat of ASF Stimulates Interest In Dealing with Wild Pigs

Farmscape for April 7, 2022

Dr. Ryan Brook Presentation 55:47 Listen

A researcher with the University of Saskatchewan suggests the risks associated with the spread of African Swine Fever have stimulated an increased interest in Canada in taking action to deal with wild pigs. “Invasive Wild Pigs: Global, National and Manitoba Perspectives” was the focus yesterday of the keynote session of Manitoba Pork’s 2022 Annual General Meeting. Dr. Ryan Brook, an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Bioresources with the University of Saskatchewan, says wild pigs are easily the most invasive large mammal on the planet.

Clip-Dr. Ryan Brook-University of Saskatchewan:
In the U.S. they do 2.5 billion dollars worth of crop damage alone in the continental U.S. They do a lot of crop damage in Canada.
They have water quality impacts. They don’t have sweat glands so they wallow in the water and the mud and they defecate in there and so you get salmonella, you get E. coli and you just get a whole lot of dirt turned up. You see this nice beautiful clean wetland or stream and then the pigs move in and the water gets dark and unusable. They eat anything from an adult white tail deer down to small mammals, birds, frogs, huge ecosystem impacts as well. Then, arguably, the one that keeps me awake at night is the disease side. They can potentially harbour disease and parasites, they can infect humans, pets, wildlife and particularly notable, livestock.
African Swine fever is big global crisis right now, especially in Europe, Asia and in Africa. Big concerns to the domestic pig industry and we know from Asia and Europe that wild pig types can actually harbor and spread that disease. That’s really, I think, mainly why we’ve seen a huge interest in Canada about doing something all of a sudden now in the last couple of years, mainly because of African Swine Fever.

Dr. Brook notes some countries in Europe have fenced every inch of their border with some other country trying to keep those wild out to keep them from spreading African Swine Fever.

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