Missouri’s feral hog eradication efforts continue

Efforts to eradicate feral hogs are gaining ground, but not everyone is in favor of the animals’ elimination. Feral hogs are present in 38 Missouri counties. They’re a problem, according to Brent Vandeloecht, agriculture liaison at the Missouri Department of Conservation.

“There are lots of issues ranging from disease to loss of agricultural production where they tear up pastures and cropland,” Vandeloecht told Brownfield Ag News at the Swine Health Symposium in Sedalia, Missouri.  “They also compete with our native species for food.”

While the number of feral hogs in Missouri killed by conservation officials has climbed steadily, Vandeloecht said that also indicates growth in their population. Some people oppose the feral hog hunting ban on Missouri public land imposed in 2016, because of what Vandeloecht calls “a hog hunting culture.” That culture wants more hogs to hunt, while conservation officials want something different. “We want to get rid of hogs,” Vandeloecht said.

The Missouri Swine Health Symposium is sponsored by the Missouri Pork Association.

AUDIO: Brent Vandeloecht

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