Farmscape for July 22, 2022
The pork sector, government and wildlife groups in Saskatchewan have come together to address the feral pig situation before it reaches the level seen in other parts of the world.
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation administers the Feral Wild Boar Control Program and the Saskatchewan Pork Development Board administers the PIG SPOT hotline.
Sask Pork General Manager Mark Ferguson says measures announced earlier this year by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, including enhanced measures to control feral pigs, a moratorium on new commercial wild boar farms, regulations for licensing existing farms and enhanced surveillance and control are making a difference.
Clip-Mark Ferguson-Saskatchewan Pork Development Board:
First, I think it's important to note that wild pigs are not native to Saskatchewan.
They are an invasive species and one that is in the public interest to eradicate as soon as possible.
The issue was caused by wild boar being released or escaping from domestic farming operations which were started in the 1990s and escapes probably continued to contribute to the problem over the years.
Wild boar damage property, they damage wildlife habitats and they can be a reservoir for swine diseases and make it virtually impossible to eradicate them as we've seen in Europe with African Swine Fever.
From industry's perspective it's wise to get a handle on the issue and get ahead of it before it becomes a big issue in Saskatchewan like it has been in other parts of the world.
The extent of the problem and determining exactly where they are in the province of Saskatchewan is something that industry, government and wildlife groups are closely collaborating on.
In terms of Sask Pork's role, we want to build awareness of the issue and to encourage the public to report any sightings they may see of wild boar or their signs in Saskatchewan.
Ferguson notes the public and outdoorsmen can report sightings of feral pigs by calling or texting the toll-free hot line at 1 833 PIG SPOT or by calling any Saskatchewan Crop Insurance office.
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*Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers