Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You've Got A Feral Pig In PA

The Tribune-Democrat is reporting that feral pig (Sus scrofa) populations in Pennsylvania are on the rise due to hunting. While that may seem counterintuitive, there are actually two good reasons why this is the case: 1) Hunting reserves have been importing the pigs to meet hunter demand and 2) Escaped pigs have responded to being hunted by dispersing into small groups and hiding, making them difficult to manage.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission will be meeting later this month to consider putting a ban on the release of feral pigs into the wild. As this article at Lancaster Online notes, feral pigs are not considered game animals in Pennsylvania, and as such are not subject to hunting regulations. It will be interesting to see how this is resolved, with the juxtaposition of concerns of sports hunters, pig farmers, state and local government officials and environmentalists. Do I smell bacon???

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