In 2016, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) banned feral hog hunting on its properties. This move was not well received by many hunters and landowners.
Missouri Pork Association director Don Nikodim told the Springfield News-Leader on Friday that the association backs the MDC’s emphasis on trapping feral hogs rather than opening MDC lands for hunting the destructive pests.
Nikodim referenced the feral hog problem in Texas and noted the hunting route “exacerbated the problem” in the Lone Star State. Hunting can spread out hog herds and make them harder to eradicate.
He believes MDC is making good progress with its trapping efforts, although the agency could use more trapping teams to be even more effective, the article said.
The Missouri Farm Bureau also supports federal and state feral hog eradication efforts in Missouri, according to its 2020 policy statement.
"We believe feral hogs are an unacceptable risk to humans, livestock, crops, and property. We believe eradication of all feral hogs is the ultimate goal," the Farm Bureau said in the statement.
In 2007, the Missouri Farm Bureau was a member of Gov. Matt Blunt’s Feral Hog Task Force. Still today, Missouri Farm Bureau members are concerned about the property damage and disease threats feral hogs and illegal transportation and release of these animals across the state pose.
A 14-member Feral Hog Study Group was approved in 2019 by the Missouri Farm Bureau’s State Board of Directors to look into additional policy needs and to study issues related to feral pigs.
The group made recommendations to Missouri Farm Bureau’s State Resolution Committee. Voting delegates at the state’s annual meeting in December approved the organization’s policies for 2020 and will continue to participate in feral hog elimination efforts.
The policy takes transporting wild pigs around the state very seriously, especially in light of current disease pressures.
“We support increasing the penalty in Missouri from a misdemeanor to a felony for the intentional release of any hogs on public land or private land without acceptable confinement. We also believe it should be a felony to hold alive or transport feral hogs without permission from the Missouri Department of Agriculture,” the policy noted.
Click here to see the complete policy.
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