Ohio is being bombarded by feral hogs

Aug 11, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

Feral, or wild hogs, are causing a big nuisance in Ohio - particularly in the southeastern part of the state.

The problem with feral hogs is that they adapt easily to their surroundings and have been proven to be very destructive. Wild hogs are considered pests. Why? For a variety of reasons including: they have been known to damage and eat farmers’ crops, are capable of spreading 30 known disease and another 37 parasites to livestock, pets and humans. But for pig farmers, there are two diseases that are of particular concern – swine brucellosis and pseudorabies. In general, they are bad news for American farmers, ranchers, land managers and conservations alike.

Ohio isn’t the only state in the America that is having trouble with feral hogs. In fact, wild hog herds are running rampant in the southern U.S. and parts of the West. Feral hog herds have been found thriving in at least 35 states, with a population of more than 5 million.  To make matters worse, they are a huge economic strain. They cost the United States about $1.5 a year in damage and control, not to mention the other negative impacts, including threat to crops and livestock.

Currently, there are two U.S. agencies that are tasked with mitigating the damage caused by feral hogs – Wildlife Services (a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife. Activities that the agencies engage in include trapping and shooting, with the ultimate goal of reducing feral swine numbers.

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