Feral Pig Control

Description: Feral pigs are pigs that are free ranging and are not in a farmed situation. They are smaller and more muscular than domestic pigs and have massive forequarters and smaller, shorter hindquarters. They also have longer and coarser hair, longer, larger snouts and tusks and much narrower backs.

Feral: Pig numbers can increase rapidly when food is abundant, therefore control has to be very intense to halt the increase or reduce pig densities. Pigs can reduce farm productivity by damaging pasture and young forestry plantings, preying on lambs, and spreading disease including Tb (bovine tuberculosis). In natural areas, they can damage native vegetation, bird life and invertebrate life.

Management: Where numbers do build to problem proportions, an intensive knockdown programme is recommended using a combination of aerial shooting, intensive trapping, spotlight shooting and targeted ground hunting. This should be followed by long-term sustained control using traps and hunting.

Control Methods • Pig Traps: If well managed, pig traps can be an effective supplement to hunting. • Target Specific Ground Hunting with Dogs: Is a very effective method, when combined with the above methods. Professional hunters are the best choice for this, with highly trained dogs that are stock proof and target specific. Hunters that cannot provide this service with their dogs are only making control more difficult as mobs of pigs are separated and pushed into new areas. • Aerial Hunting: Is also an effective method of control is open areas • Spotlight hunting: Is a very successful method of control due to Feral Pigs predominantly being nocturnal. • In country with low population densities, Judas pigs technology is sometimes used. In these situations, a pig is released back into the area. This animal – known as a Judas – then joins up with any remaining mob of pigs, allowing the hunters to locate and shoot the mob.

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