Feral hog problem tamed: State agency

Feral hogs can breed quickly, damage crops and spread disease to livestock. It’s no wonder that 84 percent of farmers surveyed by the Illinois Natural History Survey said the wild animal needs to be eradicated.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesman Tim Schweizer said there have been significant issues with the invasive species of previously domesticated pig as far north as Fulton County, “and then several counties in southern Illinois did have a number of cases where we did see feral hogs in the wild.”

But Schweizer said a multi-year effort, in coordination with property owners and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has brought the population under control.

“That population has been knocked down, and we’d like to see it kept that way, and if anyone does see a problem animal in the wild, please let the Department of Natural Resources know.”

Schweizer couldn’t immediately say how much has been spent since 2009 to control the feral hog population.

There are a variety of methods to control the hog population, including hunting and trapping.

“During the deer season, if hunters are out in the field and want to take a feral hog, they are allowed to do so,” Schweizer said.

But Schweizer said property owners who have a feral-hog problem have to get permission from the state. “Just call, make contact, give us an indication that you’ve got a problem, and you’ll be issued a permit to take those animals.”

The Illinois Natural History Survey found farmers overwhelmingly approve trapping and eliminating feral hogs, which is common practice.

–Illinois News Network

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