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.
Contact your veterinarian if your pets or livestock come in contact with feral swine and show any of the following clinical signs:
- Sudden change in behavior
- Excessive salivation
- Difficulty breathing
- Depression/reluctance to move
- Difficult walking/poor coordination
- Intense itching or self mutilation
- Sudden death
In addition to the risks of disease, experts estimate the annual agricultural damage from feral swine to be in excess of $52 million. On top of that landowner annual expense to control feral hogs exceeds $7 million.
But of most concern perhaps is the rapid propagation of the feral hog population. The natural life expectancy of a free roaming swine ranges between 6 to 8 years. A sow reaches breeding age at 7 to 8 months and can be responsible for large numbers of offspring in a 5-year period.
The average size of feral hogs ranges between 100 and 150 pounds, but, depending on the region, some suggest feral hogs can weigh in excess of 500 pounds. In Texas, the average feral hog weighs less than 200 pounds.
With increasing feral swine pressure in Texas, all interested individuals can participate in a Community of Practice webinar in mid-December, presented by Texas AgriLife Extension specialists. The webinar on feral hog research and population management will take place from 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service office for Bexar County.
“Despite all the control efforts, feral hog numbers in the state continue to rise at an alarming rate,” said Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent, Bexar County. “This Community of Practice webinar will provide important information on current and future research on feral hogs, as well as address practical aspects of feral hog management.”
Davis said the webinar may be viewed in the agency’s conference room, located in Suite 208 of Conroy Square, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive, San Antonio.
The webinar begins with registration and a light lunch from 11:15 a.m. until noon, followed by a presentation on feral hog research by Dr. Tyler Campbell from noon to 1 p.m. Campbell is with the Florida Field Station of the National Wildlife Research Center, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Registration is $15 on or before Dec. 17 and $20 thereafter. To register and for more information about the program contact Angel Torres at 210-467-6575.