Wild hogs: Minnesota hopes to restrict Eurasian pig population
ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Seeking to reign in the Eurasian wild pig population in Minnesota, lawmakers are set to add new restrictions to the animal's release and transportation throughout the state.
Also known as the wild boar, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the feral swine are "smart and elusive and destructive on landscapes… Feral hogs are spreading across North America, trampling, foraging, wallowing, and rooting up land as they go."
Damages to crops are estimated to be $1.5 billion annually nationwide, according to the DNR.
Although Minnesota is currently considered free of established herds of feral swine, according to the University of Minnesota Swing Extension program, loose pig sightings are becoming more common.
In an effort to limit their reproduction and curtail uncontrolled growth, the 2023 omnibus agriculture policy bill before the Minnesota Legislature would require a person to notify a DNR conservation officer and the Board of Animal Health within 24 hours about any intentional or accidental release of a Eurasian wild pig or Eurasian-domestic hybrid pig in the state. Any potential violations would be enforceable by a misdemeanor.
The bill would also eliminate an existing permit exemption for those who possess the pig for up to two days before slaughtering the animal for human consumption.
Permits could be issued for the transportation, possession, purchase, or importation of the Eurasian wild pig for scientific research, educational, or commercial purposes.
However, a permit could be revoked if any conditions aren’t met, including the animal accidentally escaping.
The bill will appear before the House Floor for a vote on Thursday.