Eurasian wild boars have been introduced for sport hunting and have interbred with domestic pigs for many generations. They are prolific breeders and are well adapted to Northeastern forest and farmland habitats. Being highly intelligent, they are able to problem solve and avoid hunting and capture very effectively. They are also active primarily at night, making it all the more difficult to hunt them.
The main issues that result from feral swine are:
- Crop loss
- Attacks on domestic pigs and other livestock
- Attacks on people and pets
- Poor water quality from wallows near streams
- Disturbance in forests that allows for establishment of invasive plants
Some of the 30 diseases carried by swine are pseudorabies, swine flu, tichinellosis, toxoplasmosis, and brucellosis. Additionaly, the e. coli outbreak associated with bagged baby spinich that led to a nationwide recall last year was a result of feral swine feces in the spinach fields.
All of the populations of feral swine that are breeding in the wild in New York are a result of escapes from shooting reserves; for-profit hunting facilities that fence in game species and send paying customers into the enclosure to hunt them. It is very challenging to keep swine in these large enclosures and they often escape. Without regulating this industry it is unlikely that the wild population could ever be eliminated.
I encourage everyone to learn more about this issue and if you are compelled to take action, contact the committee chairs (see contact info below) that are currently reviewing a bill << http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A09438&term=2011&Summary=Y&Text=Y >> in the State Assembly and State Senate to encourage them to help it get to the floor for a vote (Bills A 9438 and S 6825).
Information is available at:
~2010 Status Of Feral Swine in NY State - http://www.pressconnects.com/assets/pdf/CB172981412.PDF
~NYIS homepage - Feral Swine are the featured species - http://www.nyis.info/
~NYSDEC webpage - http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/70843.html
New brochures produced by USDA are available at - https://web01.aphis.usda.gov/PRTDIST/WebOrder/WOEIS.nsf Item: PA-2086 - FERAL SWINE: DAMAGE AND DISEASE THREATS
New York State Senate
Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation
Room 902 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Robert K. Sweeney
New York State Assembly
Committee on Environmental Conservation
Room 625 LOB
Albany, NY 12248
640 West Montauk Highway
Lindenhurst, NY 11757