Feral pigs in Canada: The solution is far from near

Source: Treena Hein, Pig Progress, 7 May 2021, photo credit: Greatland Laser

A petition pleads for ‘peaceful co-existence,’ but leading wildlife experts decry misinformation about the invasive threats of wild pigs. Meanwhile, a transboundary group is making strides, ASF plans are in place, and a sighting hotline is set up in Ontario.

The wild boar situation in North America continues to evolve. Wild pigs were brought to North America from Europe a few decades ago and mated to domestic pigs in order to provide a new product. Some hybrids either escaped or were freed, and their descendants have spread from British Columbia to Quebec. For years, in the Wild Pigs Canada Project, Dr Ryan Brook (an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan) and his colleagues have mapped wild pig distribution using trail cameras, GPS data from collared pigs and interviews with landowners.

The pigs can cause crop damage, potentially transmit disease (including African Swine Fever, should it arrive in Canada), contaminate water sources and cause automobile collisions. They can also destroy habitat and negatively affect wildlife. In May, Dr Brook will be doing a presentation at the North American Caribou Workshop on evaluating risks of wild pigs on that mammal.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.