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Wild Pigs are Running Rampant. What Can Be Done?


The last few decades have witnessed an unprecedented explosion of wild pigs in the continental U.S. Over the last 30 years, feral swine populations have ballooned to spread across 39 states.

As AgWeb reports, it’s now estimated that there are as many as 11 million pigs living wild in America. And these animals just seem to keep proliferating, no matter what ag operations try. USDA pig expert Jack Mayer says setting pigs loose on virgin land is akin to pouring water on gremlins.

The issue is, wild pigs have no effective predators other than humans. They breed year-round, and sows bear two litters a year. And those litters can produce as many as 12 piglets at a  time.

Dale Nolte of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program estimates damage inflicted by wild pigs across the U.S. economy at as much as $2.5 billion per year. The USDA is currently developing more efficient trapping technologies, as well as developing oral pig contraceptives. A pig pill, if you will.