Feral swine a key concern for pig producers

US - Wild pigs have are migrating and have now started roaming the woods in Iowa. Pork producers are concerned and say these "feral swine" can carry brucellosis and pseudorabies.
calendar icon 28 May 2007
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Iowa Pork Producers president Scott Tapper says feral swine could pass those diseases to Iowa swine herds and the results could be disastrous. "We're the number one pork state in the country, of course, and it's an $11 - 12 billion dollar industry," he says. "...We've got a real concern."

The Iowa Farm Bureau says one farmer in Louisa County in southeast Iowa already has had to kill off his hogs after they became infected with brucellosis transmitted from feral pigs. Tests on wild hogs in Nebraska and Wisconsin have detected pseudo-rabies.

Feral hogs also damage farm fields and prey on other wildlife. John Ross of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says two years ago in western Iowa he began to see deep grooves in farm fields and the carcasses of animals eaten by feral swine, which have voracious appetites.

Ross recently had a pen of feral hogs corralled in Fremont County. "You can see here where this hog panel has been pulled down and damaged. This is from a pig trying to climb the fence," he told reporters. "The feral pigs are actually quite agile. They've been caught on videotape climbing fences as tall as five feet."


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