The Government of Saskatchewan is taking steps to proactively enhance and broaden the regulation, monitoring and control of wild boar and feral pigs in the province.
The Ministry of Agriculture is developing regulations for licensing existing commercial wild boar farms and imposing a moratorium on any new farms. Regulations for wild boar/feral pigs will also be developed under The Pest Control Act, which would specify the various monitoring and control efforts as well as public obligations to report.
Additionally, annual funding for the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) Feral Wild Boar Control Program for surveillance and eradication efforts in the province is being doubled to $200,000.
“Increasing feral pig surveillance and eradication efforts, along with declaring them a regulated pest, are proactive measures to help ensure the health of both the agriculture industry and the natural environment in Saskatchewan,” Agriculture Minister David Marit said. “These are substantial steps that improve risk management and protect the resilience and security of our agriculture industry, which is a critical component of our provincial economy.”
Feral pigs are invasive and established within localized regions of the province, including agricultural production areas, and represent a significant problem due to damage caused to hay and crop land and to natural areas, as well as their potential to spread invasive plant species. They also harass livestock and wildlife, and are potential reservoirs for livestock diseases such as African swine fever, a federally reportable disease that is not yet present in North America but is a serious threat to the Canadian pork industry.
The SCIC and the Ministry of Agriculture work closely with the public, producer associations like Sask Pork, and rural municipalities to monitor and deal with feral pigs in the province. This issue is among various areas of mutual interest and cooperation between the province and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) which recently requested a collaborative, long-term solution to the wild boar/feral pigs issue in Saskatchewan.
All wild boar/feral pig sightings should be reported immediately by contacting a local SCIC office or calling 1-888-935-0000 (toll-free).