“It’s good to get going on this as the wild boars have been multiplying for a few years now and they are causing lots of destruction to farmland.”
Dwayne Davison, president of the Lloydminster & District Fish & Game Association is weighing in as the Saskatchewan government has signalled its intent to enhance monitoring and control of wild boar and feral pigs in the province.
The Agriculture ministry indicates it is developing regulations for licensing existing commercial wild boar farms and imposing a moratorium on any new farms. Regulations for wild boar/feral pigs will also be developed under the Pest Control Act to specify the various monitoring and control strategies as well as public obligations to report.
Davison notes there are wild boar farms around the Border City and discusses the issue of farm expansion.
“The concern of having more farms for wild boar is a concern of some people and the government’s position is they are not going to issue any new licenses for that. I don’t know if they would be suspending any. They have not done that yet.”
The province is also doubling the annual funding for the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) Feral Wild Boar Control Program to $200,000. This strategy deals with surveillance and eradication efforts.
Davison says wild boars have been detected in the Lloydminster area.
“Our area has been identified as having wild boar sightings, in and around Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan side. It’s not the heavily populated areas, but they are around. We have spoken to some people that have seen them. So they are out there. They are an elusive animal. They don’t show themselves very often.”
He adds that existing farms need to make sure that their security is good to prevent boars from escaping into the wild. He notes that boars multiply and have several litters during the year which increases the population.
Government officials say feral pigs also cause damage to hay and crop land as well as natural areas. They harass livestock and wildlife. They have the potential to spread invasive plant species and are potential carriers for livestock diseases such as African Swine Fever that is a serious threat to the Canadian pork industry.
Ag officials want all wild boar or feral pig sightings to be reported immediately by contacting a local SCIC office or calling 1-888-935-0000 (toll-free).