University of Calgary conducting wild pig study

University of Calgary conducting wild pig study
May 18, 2023

The university is trying to identify the overlap between wild pigs and livestock

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The University of Calgary wants farmers to participate in a short survey about wild pigs.

“Because pathogens can be transmitted in many ways, it is crucial to understand how wild pigs interact with livestock and how often, and what production practices may influence this,” the survey’s introduction says.

The purpose of the study, the university says, is to “identify the overlap between wild pigs and livestock, characterize their contact structure for disease transmission risk, and document current practices to manage wild pigs on farms.”

The survey asks farmers to enter information including their postal codes, type of livestock operation, and if they’ve seen wild pigs on their farmland.

Mathieu Pruvot, an assistant professor in the university’s faculty of veterinary medicine, is leading the study.

Wild pigs are an issue across western Canada.

Ryan Brook, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan who is working to raise awareness about the impacts of these animals, is tracking how many sightings occur.

“Invasive wild pigs continue to spread rapidly out of control on the Canadian Prairie Provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta – in that order,” he said in an April 14 tweet that included a photo of a wild pig. “This is occurrence #1,796 for (Canada) so far and it’s only April 14th.”