What is in this article?:
- War of the wild hogs.
- Professionals need more funding for better management and control initiatives.
- Free-ranging populations of feral swine in the U.S. are located in at least 35 States.
The fight against an escalating wild pig population is nothing new. Many states are struggling with the rampant spread of feral hog-related problems and a few are considering drastic measures to control an escalating problem that threatens to bring serious economic hardships, a potential for uncontrolled spread of animal diseases and even a threat to human safety.
But thanks in part to a new method of addressing the growing feral swine problem, wildlife officials, representatives of agriculture, and educators from land-grant universities are teaming up to share information and developing strategies that may one day lead to adequate control.
What is being termed a “Feral Hog Community of Practice” is a resource area of various experts focusing on the control, adaptive management, biology, economics, disease risks and human interface with feral hogs in the U.S. and around the globe.
A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people, but a group of professionals with an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership, therefore, implies a commitment to the shared topic—in this case the developing feral pig problem.
In recent years, the subject of wild pig damage has come before many state and federal lawmakers. Agricultural producers who have felt the harsh impacts of feral hogs, and wildlife experts who understand the ecological ramifications of the species, have testified at House and Senate Agricultural Committee hearings warning of the risks and dangers the problem poses to both industry and the environment.
These professionals say they want and need more funding for better management and control initiatives. In such hard-hit states as Texas with estimates of feral hog populations greater than two million, state legislators have made additional funding available, but many say the funding is too little and too late.