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JONESBORO, Ark. – While NEA is most definitely Red Wolves country, there are still many fans of the Hogs around. However, one hog no one is a fan of is the feral hog and an Arkansas government task force hopes to eradicate their species.
The Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force, under the purview of the Arkansas Agriculture Department, was created by the Arkansas Legislature during the 2017. The goal, as the name suggests, is to eradicate feral hogs in the state of Arkansas.
The AAD’s website says feral hogs are little more than pests. They’re not native to the United States. They are an invasive species, a public nuisance and a threat to Arkansas, the AAD says.
Although small herds of feral hogs have lived in Arkansas for generations, the feral hog population in the state has increased and expanded dramatically since the 1990’s. Controlling the prolific feral hog has proven difficult. Feral hogs are very adaptive and learn to avoid hunters and traps. – UofA Division of Agriculture Extension Office
They compete for food resources, destroy habitat by rooting and wallowing and will eat ground-nesting birds, eggs, fawns and young domestic livestock, AAD’s website says. They also apparently carry up to 45 bacteria, diseases and parasites, including Trichinellosis, Brucellosis and swine herpes virus.
The feral beasts are a growing problem in Arkansas and they have few, if any, natural predators. Approximately five million live across 39 states in the United States. Their pest-nature costs people $1.5 billion, annually.
These costs include:
- Damage to and loss of crops of at least $800 million
- injury and transmission of disease to livestock
- ecological destruction; property damage
- threats to native ground nesting birds and other small wildlife (including endangered species)
- contamination of human food and water supplies.
In Arkansas, it is legal to shoot feral hogs on privately owned land day or night, anytime. Capturing a feral hog, as many do, must immediately be followed up by the termination of the creature. Captured hogs are only allowed to be kept on the same privately-owned land they were captured on.
This resource from the UofA’s Division of Agriculture has a great deal of information on feral hogs, their nature, and their elimination.
Featured photo from public domain website