News Media Key to Building Awareness of Wild Pig Problems and Solutions

May 06, 2024

An agriculture reporter with the Western Producer says the news media has an important role to play in helping increase awareness of dangers posed by wild pigs."How to reach the public, working with the media" was the among the topics discussed as part of Animal Health Canada's Canadian Wild Pig Summit, hosted in Brandon in partnership with Assiniboine Community College, Squeal on Pigs Manitoba and Manitoba Pork.

Ed White, an agriculture reporter with the Western Producer, told those on hand the media is playing a key role in building public awareness.

Quote-Ed White-Western Producer:

To reach the vast public out there, beyond people that will be actively looking for information on this, I think you really have to work with news media.
That's what gets to the average person in some way and it may not be through any one media outlet but a combination of hearing about stuff on radio, on TV, on YouTube, on Facebook, obviously where I work at a newspaper, magazines, that's where I think most people still get a lot of their information.
Official sources are great but most people never see those.

If they're government publications or official websites or things like that, that's only going to hit a minority of people.I think to really spread the message from those sites out much wider and to let people know those sources are even available you've got to go through the news media.People might not even know that there's wild pigs around them.

They might not know what those signs are.If you haven't seen what wild pig damage is you might wonder, why is my pasture all dug up? If you are a hunter in the city and you hear there's a wild pig problem but you don't know much about wild pigs, you might think, heck, I'm going to go and help.I'm going to go out to where I hear there are some and start shooting at them, not realising that that could spread the problem wide.

White suggests, while there is a growing understanding that there is some sort of an issue, there's a not a deep understanding of the topic so people have a lot more to learn about the problem.

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