Alberta county calls for wild boar eradication

Wild boars, raised as livestock but destructive when they escape, are pests that should be eliminated from Alberta, say officials in Red Deer County.

Art Preachuk, agricultural fieldman with the county, said the animals should be banned before they become an agricultural plague.

“We are taking this too nonchalantly,” said Preachuk, whose anti-wild boar resolution will be discussed at a provincial Agricultural Service Board meeting in January.

“They have potential to cause massive damage and costs to farmers.”

At a recent U.S. weed conference in Missouri, Preachuk said his counterparts cited wild boar as the largest crop production problem in the state.

“If the boar is on the inside of a fence, it’s livestock. When it escapes, it is now a pest. How can that be possible,” said Geoff Thompson, agricultural fieldman for Lac Ste. Anne County, where the wild boar problem has caused thousands of dollars in damage to crops and hay bales.

“It’s tough to put a dollar value on damage by rooting. Farmers don’t realize how much damage is caused until they get on their swathers in the fall and fall in these big ruts. In the winter months (wild boar) come to bale yards and damage bales. I’ve seen lots of damage over the years from that,” said Thompson.

“We do it with rats. Why don’t we do it with pigs?”

Wild boar were declared pests in Alberta in 2008. The government has paid $26,350 in bounty for 520 wild boar. The largest payments have been to wild boar hunters in the Lac Ste. Anne county northwest of Edmonton.

Quinton Beaumont, agricultural fieldman with Stettler County, said his county just reaffirmed its bylaw declaring wild boar a pest.

Beaumont said one of the biggest problems is the lack of regulations requiring proper fencing to prevent the wild boar from escaping.

Thompson said the government needs to insist on adequate fencing if it doesn’t want to eradicate the animals from the province.

“You see the elk fences out there that are substantial. For wild boar you can string up some barb wire fence and order some pigs.”

Phil Merrill, Alberta Agriculture’s rat and pest specialist, said he has more experience dealing with rats than wild boar, but believes requiring pig proof fencing would ease the tension around feral animals.

“I really think it would have benefit, but I am just not sure if the (agriculture) department is ready to put those stipulations on the pig farmer. Personally I think they should because that would make it less likely for escapees.”

Merrill also doesn’t know how receptive the government is to eliminating wild boar from the list of legitimate livestock.

“I don’t know how protective Alberta Agriculture is going to be about our producers. There are only about half a dozen large producers and maybe half a dozen smaller producers. There is not a lot farmers involved, but I’m not sure if the department is ready to tell those guys they can’t raise hogs.”

Earl Hagman, a wild boar producer from Mayerthorpe, said his livelihood would be wiped out if the province eliminates wild boar from the province.

“It’s our whole livelihood,” said Hagman of Hogwild Specialties.

“God, that would be unbelievable if they said we can’t raise our pigs.”

Hagman said wild boar escaping from farms is a “legitimate concern,” but his biggest fencing problems are caused by people. At least once a month, his fences are cut and his wild boar are enticed with grain and other bait.

When he caught hunters hunting wild boar on his property he called in the RCMP, who refused to lay charges because wild boar have been labeled pests.

10 Responses

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  1. Best solution is to DNA register all wild boars in captivity through blood. Then if they escape the owner is responsible. DNA can be traced back to the original owner very effectively. The owner carry’s a liability for damage, end of story.

  2. AHAHAHAHA on

    Sure… DNA them…. then when they breed with other pigs gone wild you will know that they bred with whatever other ones they ran into in the wild… now how are you going to kill or otherwise eliminate them? They are largely noctural. Most farmers don’t even know they are a problem in their area for a few years, in the meantime they have doubled, tripled or are 10 times as many as escaped.

    • Dayton on

      Actually the DNA is a simple concept. If I were to engage in raising wild boars knowing my animals could easily be traced back to me through hair or blood I would think twice about the decision. Do I build a fence to insure the critters never escape or do I can the whole plan and skip the liability. You can’t do a thing about those that are already running loose but you can certainly contain the ones who aren’t. If I were to run over a pig and total off my truck it would be nice to know who the original owner was and where the liability lies. A DNA test for $100.00 could easily do that.

  3. boarhunter on

    wow!! dayton give your head a shake. in no way how can you say its feasible for a boar farmer to have to DNA test all of his animals. If people just respected other peoples property and rights this wouldn’t be an issue. How about we use tax payer dollars to DNA test all the dear to so that when someone hits one in a vehicle we can see where the liability lies. how bout you just pay attention when your driving and don’t comment on (stuff) that you have no idea about and you wont have to worry about wild boar becoming a pest. you probably live in the city on the 13th floor of an apartment building.

  4. Clinton on

    Wild Boars in Saskatchewan

    Hey guys! if you happen to spot a wild boar in Saskatchewan please visit this website! Thanks!!

  5. I am a father of three and feed my family solely on wild meat. If there is anyone living in areas currently experiencing problems with boar i would be happy to come help take out some of the population. I am an experienced hunter with many riffle and bow hunts under my belt. If there is an issue with close proximity to dwellings i am very comfortable with my bow. If you happen to know anybody that could use my help please pass on the information. I know there is also problems with large elk populations in many parts of Alberta. Same as the boar meat in the freezer is a good thing!! Email me @ [email protected]

  6. G,day lads my name is scott im an australian pig hunter, where im from pigs are not only pests but enemies our pig problem is a million fold on yours and I hope for your sake you guys really do try to keep it that way. If any one has an interest in hunting ferral pigs with dogs or in general im glad to help im curtantly living in calgary

  7. Hi, Adam, Digga.

    I am with you both. I am a born-n-raised 4th generation Albertan.
    I would support a good boar hunt. Don’t want feral pigs altering the landscape.
    They are not indigenous.

    reply if interested.

  8. I would also like to get in on some hunts in area’s that have confirmed boar sightings or boar sign. Experienced bow hunter and we have a 4 man team. We are comfortable in almost all terrain and would continue to return until the problem has been eradicated. Contact me by email [email protected]

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