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Porcine Press – New Year, New Regulations, And Keeping Hogs Out Of Montana

January 12, 2015

A new year always brings new regulations to fish and game departments around the country.  North Carolina, for example, is holding public meetings now to discuss new captive cervid laws, intended to provide safeguards against disease, such as CWD.  Louisiana is looking at changes, such as adjustments to hunting regulations to allow handguns during primitive weapons seasons, while Georgia hunters are asked to provide comment on proposals that include switching over to a single, statewide deer season.

While most states are working on regulations to manage the wildlife they already have, Montana is making plans to keep some wildlife out of the state altogether.  On tap in the Big Sky state is a proposal to ban the possession, import, or hunting of wild hogs.

Under Senate Bill 100, the Board of Livestock would have the authority to ban the possession and hunting of wild hogs and could establish penalties for those not abiding by the rules. The board could also control and eradicate the animals.

So far, Montana is one of 11 states that have not reported a population of wild (or feral) hogs, and both wildlife officials and the livestock industry want to keep it that way.  A primary concern is disease, such as brucellosis or pseudorabies, which could infect domestic stock with catastrophic effects.

"Adam Henry" is radio jargon sometimes used by law enforcement or other emergency personnel to signify A-H, or Ass Hole.

“Adam Henry” is jargon sometimes used by law enforcement or other emergency personnel to signify A-H, or Ass Hole.

And why do Montanans think such a law is justified?  Well, we continue to see Adam Henry award candidates, like Wesley Dean Kirton, of Oklahoma, who think it’s a great idea to import and release feral hogs to provide a hunting opportunity, as well as to “train” his hog dogs.  According to officials, some of the hogs he released onto his 40 acre farm tested positive for pseudorabies.  This is no small thing, seeing as how the area of Oklahoma where this took place is also the home of most of the domestic swine farms in the state.

“It will have an impact on the industry itself and cause our prices internationally to go down nationwide and also prevent exports and just the price to go up,” Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture Dr. Justin Roach said.

It’s no secret that the biggest reason feral hogs have spread so widely and so rapidly across the US is transport and release, both legal and illegal, by hunting interests (in some cases, the states themselves actively relocated and encouraged populations of wild hogs).  While I can see that, early on, some folks didn’t realize that releasing hogs into the native habitat was problematic, those days are passed.  The publicity around the “pig bomb” has been widespread, and claims of ignorance no longer garner sympathetic acceptance.  It’s not an “innocent mistake” to turn an invasive, non-native species loose into the environment.

I know it’s a bit of a pipedream, but I long for the day when new regulations are based solely on wildlife management issues, and not in response to hunters behaving badly.

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One Response to “Porcine Press – New Year, New Regulations, And Keeping Hogs Out Of Montana”

  1. Porcine Press – New Year, New Regulations, And Keeping Hogs Out Of Montana | AllHunt.com on January 12th, 2015 09:25

    […] Porcine Press – New Year, New Regulations, And Keeping Hogs Out Of Montana […]

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