The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently earmarked $20 million to manage damage caused by feral swine.On an annual basis, feral swine cause approximately $1.5 billion in damage. Feral swine herds have a presence in 39 states. Wild pigs pose a risk to crops, livestock, and private property.The Wildlife Services branch of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will spearhead the control efforts and will devise a plan to work with states on case by case bases.According to the USDA, a significant amount of the program will focus on surveillance and disease monitoring. This approach will be aimed at protecting the health of domestic swine herds.In addition to causing crop and property damage, feral swine can also carry diseases. The USDA estimates that feral swine are able to carry and transmit approximately 30 diseases and 37 different parasites that could spread to livestock, people and other wildlife.Breakdown of funding allocation:• $9.5 billion for state specific projects• $1.4 million for disease monitoring• $1.5 million for research projectsThe national program is expected to be operating within the next six months.