Could New Breed of ‘Super Pigs’ Be Louisiana’s Next Destroyer?
For those who don't quite realize the amount of destruction caused by those wild feral hogs in Louisiana, the dollar figure is jaw-dropping.
In the latest report from the LSU AgCenter, feral hogs are doing $91.1 million in damage to Louisiana every year. That's not just one year; it's every year. And some speculate that the problem is only going to get worse.
Across the U.S. the amount of damage from hogs is estimated to be $2.5 billion. In Texas, the issue is so bad that some counties have instituted bounties for the destruction of feral hogs.
As if the problem weren't bad enough, now, thanks to an article from whiskeyriff.com, we have learned that a new breed of bigger, smarter "Super Pigs" could be moving into the United States from Canada.
The article highlights an interview with Dr. Ryan Brook, who is head of the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project, where he says these much larger hogs survive cold weather much better and have better reproduction in these conditions.
Apparently back in the early 2,000's as Canada's pork market began to drop, many hogs were simply released because there weren't enough customers to purchase them and their population has exploded.
Now, those hogs could be moving southward into the upper states of America. Dr. Brook said of the migration:
"Quite honestly, I think there have already been some in Manitoba going into North Dakota for the last 5 or 6 years.
There is no physical, biological boundary at the U.S.-Canada border. There is hardly any kind of fencing to speak of. There’s a real risk of pigs moving south into the U.S.”
Of these hogs, according to Dr. Brook, they are a near unimaginable plague:
"Wild hogs feed on anything. They gobble up tons and tons of goslings and ducklings in the spring. They can take down a whitetail deer, even an adult.
It’s become clear that they’re threatening our whitetail deer, elk, and especially, waterfowl. Not to mention the crop damage. The downsides outweigh any benefit wild hogs may have as a huntable species.”
One can only speculate that if these hogs are already migrating into America, it can't be long before they continue their migration south through the agricultural belt of the U.S. and ultimately here in Texas and Louisiana.
While I hate to be one to declare that "the sky is falling", this issue is certainly one that is going to require immediate proactivity. We already have a major problem and it would appear these hogs could provide the death blow for the farming industry if left unchecked.