Farmscape for July 30, 2021
The General Manager of Manitoba Pork is calling for action to address the invasion of Manitoba by wild boar before it passes the point of possible control as it has with other non-native invasive species like dandelions and zebra mussels.
The topic of non-native invasive species is explored as part of an article being circulated in Manitoba community newspapers and posted to the media centre on the Manitoba Pork web site.
Manitoba Pork General Manager Cam Dhal observes what we're seeing now is an invasion of wild pigs.
Clip-Cam Dhal-Manitoba Pork:
If we go back in time, it's sort of like the dandelion.
In the 1980s and 1990s farm income was really at a disastrous state and diversification was the key word.
Governments were supporting elk farms or ostrich farms or deer farms and they also supported wild boar farms, bringing over wild boar from Europe to farm them in Manitoba and across the prairies.
At the time they thought this isn't going to be a problem because these pigs are never going to escape from our fencing and, if they escape, they'll never survive the prairie winter.
The truth is that they escaped, they were released when prices fell and they don't just survive winter, they thrive on it and they're growing at an exponential rate.
A sow will come into maturity within a year.
They can have two litters per year so it's not hard to see how these animals can grow exponentially and that's what we're starting to see now.
They destroy habitat, they destroy rivers and they also carry disease.
They are also a disease reservoir and so they pose a significant risk to the pork industry because of that disease carrying ability and they also pose a significant risk to crop farmers and to pastures because they are incredibly destructive.
Dahl says there really isn't anything that we can do get rid of the zebra mussel or the dandelion but we still have a chance with wild pigs to take some action before it reaches that level of entrenchment and causes permanent ongoing damage.
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