Fighting feral hog infiltration
Feral hogs continue to wreak havoc on Alabama farms, but law enforcement and government agencies are helping farmers fight back.
In November, a twoyear investigation by the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries led to 16 arrests for transporting, releasing or possessing live feral hogs. Thirteen of the offenders were Alabama residents. The offense is a class B misdemeanor with a $2,500 fine and possible jail time up to 180 days.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for its Wild Pig Damage Management Program in Alabama. Through Jan. 20, Alabama landowners may apply for financial assistance to monitor and manage feral swine on their properties.
It’s estimated feral hogs cause $1.5 billion in annual agricultural damages nationwide. The rooting mammals have been sighted in most of Alabama’s 67 counties. Sows begin breeding at six months old and produce up to four litters of four to 12 piglets per year.
Wild pig rooting damages native plant communities that provide habitat and food sources for indigenous wildlife species.
Additionally, wild hogs degrade water quality and pose a serious disease threat to humans and livestock.