Farmscape for March 26, 2019
A University of Saskatchewan Professor says coordinated national and provincial strategies and international collaboration will be needed to eradicate Canada's wild pig population.
The threat of African Swine Fever has heightened concern over the risk of disease transmission posed by feral pigs.
Dr. Ryan Brook, a Professor in the College Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, says there's lots of tools in the tool box that could be used to control pigs.
Clip-Dr. Ryan Brook-University of Saskatchewan:
Capturing with net guns out of helicopter and restraining and using a penetrating bolt gun to euthanize them can work.
There are big large ground traps to catch entire groups of pigs that can be very effective, ground teams that go out and take out entire sounder groups.
One thing that is very clear on the prairies is that we've had decades of sport harvest and hunters going out and we 100 percent respect hunters and the role they play on all of these issues and certainly they play a major role in regulation of other wildlife populations.
In wild pigs though it's pretty clear that sport hunting has no role in success and indeed breaks up groups and splits them around and makes them much more wary and so, because of sport harvest, we have this large expanding wild pig population but now we have animals that are much more split up and extremely wary and more nocturnal and harder to find and because they are so elusive hiding under heavy cover.
There is opportunity for major population control through really aggressive efforts that typically would rely on multiple methods, not just one.
The window to actually achieve that is closing very rapidly sop we need a national plan, we need international collaboration with the U.S. and we need provincial plans and perspectives and resources to help make that so.
Dr. Brook acknowledges that will be expensive and every year we wait it will get more expensive.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork