According to a report presented to the Feral Swine Subcommittee at the U.S. Animal Health Association's annual meeting in Minneapolis, the feral swine population is rapidly increasing. In 2004, there were feral swine in 1,014 counties in 14 states.
Indeed, the growing feral hog population is a growing concern for the U.S. domestic swine population largely because it increases the disease exposure risk. Several states have taken measures to address these concerns. Kansas is among the more recent states to expand its activities.
The Kansas Animal Health Department, in cooperation with USAD's Wildlife Services Division, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, instituted a program to locate and control the population.
KAHD has established a toll-free number for citizens to report the presence of feral swine and is working with Wildlife Services to implement a control program. Chad Richardson, a USDA wildlife biologist, is working full time on the project. The program is in its initial stages and os working to locate feral hogs by surveying landowners, producers, game wardens and the like.
Program participants will begin prioritizing areas in which to initiate ground-control measures, including trapping and shooting feral hogs. Aerial control efforts will follow. Richardson reports that most landowners are cooperative and in agreement that the feral swine need to be controlled.
Source: American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Kansas State University