A bit over a month ago, we dropped an article on the growing population of feral swine to the north of us in Canada. If you do nothing more than look at the maps in that article, you may find them interesting. The “ecological disaster” has grown significantly over the course of nearly 30 years.
While North Dakota is said to have no known established populations of feral swine, the spreading problem with our northern neighbors is of great concern to landowners and wildlife officials in the Peace Garden State.
From time to time, reports have surfaced in North Dakota of feral swine. There’s been cases in the Badlands, Turtle Mountains, and Pembina Gorge— where all the critters were removed or killed. A railroad worker shot one near Stanley in 2006 after it ran toward him and co-workers chased it away.
The most recent reports came to light a week ago, when the North Dakota Department of Agriculture published a post on Facebook stating that, “Feral swine had recently been reported in multiple counties in North Dakota.”
In this podcast of “The Drive” with Jack Sunday last Thursday, Deputy State Veterinarian Dr. Beth Carlson identified the reports as being from Stutsman and Grand Forks counties. Numbers ranged from 20 to 40 animals. While some were claimed and captured, Carlson reported that there’s still some “at large” in Stutsman County. A singular pig was reported in Walsh County that had the appearance of a Eurasian boar— the kind they’re dealing with in Canada.
What’s interesting about the Facebook post is the comments. As I mentioned in last month’s article, North Dakota’s prohibition on hunting feral swine runs counter to what most people would typically think of as a solution for such a problem. Yet, under current law, only landowners can kill feral swine if “there is a threat of harm or destruction of property.” As expected, some folks aren’t fans of the limitation.
Earlier this week, I was having a conversation with a family friend about the potential issue of feral swine North Dakota. This gentleman has worked on locations in the northern part of the oil field and claims that crews have seen pigs while working in these areas. Take that for what it’s worth, but could there be more sightings than what’s being reported? I’m guessing there is.
If feral swine establish resident populations in our state, it could be devastating for North Dakota landowners and wildlife. We encourage you to report any sightings to the State Board of Animal Health at 701-328-2655.
PLEASE LIKE & SHARE!