Feral pigs, farmed mink management opinions sought by Minnesota DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is wondering what to do about pigs and farmed mink that have been let loose.

Hoping to gather perspective on the impacts on the environment and people's health, several Minnesota agencies are asking people to share their perspectives on state management in an online questionnaire. The Minnesota DNR will also host an online public meeting from 6:30-8 p.m. on Nov. 14.

According to the press release, both the questionnaire and online meeting will offer a discussion of potential changes in state management of both animals, and an opportunity for people to provide input.

"This is an opportunity to proactively identify any gaps in our management," Leslie McInenly, a wildlife populations and regulations manager with the Minnesota DNR, said in a statement. "This review is an opportunity to ensure Minnesota has the necessary policies in place to respond to any environmental, animal health or public health concern related to feral pigs or mink."

Feral pigs can have a negative impact on local ecosystems, native species and agricultural crops, and the pigs’ population has been expanding in recent decades, the Minnesota DNR says.

Meanwhile, mink have recently garnered attention due to the animals’ susceptibility to diseases, such as influenza, that can also impact humans.

The state’s review will be presented to the Minnesota State Legislature in February 2024, at the request of lawmakers during the previous legislative session.