Monday, October 3, 2022

Feral pig outbreak eradicated

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Eliza Berlage, Naracoorte Community News

Farmer with feral pig
Local farmer Andrew Pilmore with the 70 kg pig he shot in the Kingston area. Photo: Naracoorte Community News

Locals are being urged to share any information with the Limestone Coast Landscape Board about how almost a dozen feral pigs came to be roaming in the region.

Investigation by the board indicated the pigs were likely to have been illegally released in the Reedy Creek area south-east of Kingston.

Limestone Coast Landscape Board operations manager Mike Stevens said landholders who reported the outbreak worked closely with landscape officers to deploy cameras, build traps, lay poison baits, and shoot.

“The affected farmers are to be applauded for their efforts to quickly contact us and work swiftly to build traps to remove the animals,” Mr Stevens said.

“The control efforts succeeded with close to 20 feral pigs successfully removed.

“However, feral pigs can be very cryptic and we are urging the community in the area to remain vigilant and to report any further sightings to the landscape board so we can rapidly respond.

“We do not want feral pigs to establish in our region as they would have substantial economic impacts to farmers and cause significant environmental destruction.”

Mr Steven said it was likely the pigs had been illegally released and urged anyone with information about the matter to contact the landscape board to assist with investigations.

Substantial penalties are associated with the movement, sale, possession, and release of pigs in South Australia, with individuals receiving penalties of up to $125,000 or imprisonment for two years. Furthermore, landholders are responsible for destroying feral pigs on their land.

With an estimated national population of 23 million, feral pigs inhabit 45 per cent of the Australian mainland and cost the agricultural industry upwards of $100 million a year through damage to crops, fences and water points, killing baby lambs and competing for feed.

They also present a biosecurity risk, with significant potential to spread diseases.

The landscape board said prevention and early response to incursions of feral pigs was a cost-effective alternative to long term control of established feral pig populations, which have the ability to more than double their population in a year due to their rapid reproductive rate.

Naracoorte Community News 4 August 2021

This article appeared in Naracoorte Community News, 4 August 2021.

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