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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Eradication of Feral Hogs in Australia

10/28/2019

For the past decade, authorities in Australia have mounted campaigns to reduce the population of feral hogs.  Introduced to the nation in 1788 the initial importation of 49 hogs has grown to approximately 24 million feral animals of which 14 million are in Queensland.

 

Campaigns to eradicate feral hogs and other non-indigenous species have been implemented over the years to reduce the environmental impact of these destructive animals.  In December 2018 5,000 hogs were killed in New South Wales by aerial shooting.  This was possible since after a drought, hogs were concentrated with as many as 50 per square mile. 

 

The need to eradicate hogs has become more urgent with the emergence of African swine fever in Asia.  If the virus were to be introduced into the feral hog population, eradication of the infection would be more difficult than if only commercial units were infected. In the context of Australia effective quarantine and culling could be implemented to control ASF even in the absence of a vaccine.  Feral hogs serve as reservoirs as ASF virus, to the detriment of control and eradication measures.

 

In common with Australia and Western European nations, the U.S. should intensify culling of feral hogs.  Simply allowing unrestricted sport hunting without a license is inadequate.  More intensive measures are required given the high population of feral hogs in the Gulf States.


 
Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane