UPDATE: HB 288 was involuntarily deferred in the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment.
Ask your legislators to support HB 288 sponsored by Representative Thibaut. Take action here!
HB 288 prohibits the importation and release of feral hogs and restricts the transportation of feral hogs. This is an important step in controlling the movement of feral hogs to new locations around the state. The spread of hogs is linked to transport and release. Studies show feral hogs have small home ranges, natural movement is therefore not a major factor in their spread. Feral hogs destroy crops, damage levees and habitat, prey upon livestock and wildlife, and spread disease.
The feral hog population has exploded exponentially in recent years. Sows can have up to 10 piglets per litter and up to 2 litters per year. Because they are a non-native invasive species, feral hogs have no natural predators and are considered an outlaw quadruped.
It’s daunting to realize we have to eliminate 70% of the population each year just to keep the population level. We are not achieving that stability, much less reducing the population.
Hunting alone is not reducing the population. We cannot shoot our way out of the problem. There are multiple control methods applied: hunting, trapping, snaring, and aerial shooting. Sodium Nitrite is being tested as a toxicant, but it’s not ready for use.
Feral hogs carry disease that can spread to you, your pets or wildlife. According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, here are statistics on disease prevalence within the feral hog population at this time:
- Swine brucellosis: 5%
- Psuedorabies: 12%
- Leptospirosis: 80% serologically positive with 12% active infection
- Toxoplasmosis: 8%
- Trichinosis: 3%
You can help reduce the continued spread of feral hogs by supporting HB 288.
Photo Credit: USDA