Non-Native Wild Pigs Present Problems

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Populations of non-native wild pigs have been a problem in pockets around the state.

Wild pigs are an invasive species and a threat to native wildlife, including popular game animals such as deer and turkey. Wild pigs are opportunistic animals that feed on the nests and young of gamebirds, rabbits, reptiles, amphibians and deer. They also compete with native wildlife for food. Some wildlife, such as deer and nesting turkeys, avoid areas where pigs are active.

Pig activity along streams and rivers can cause water-quality issues. Pigs muddy up waterways, an activity that covers fish spawning beds in silt and decreases oxygen levels.

Wild pig rooting also damages crops, parks, lawns and rural cemeteries. Wild pigs will eat young lambs and goats.

Wild pigs are known to carry more than 30 pathogens and parasites that can be transmitted to livestock, people, pets and wildlife. Some of these pathogens can be directly transmitted to humans, causing lifelong debilitating illnesses.

A person can take a wild pig anytime without a permit from the DNR, but they must have written permission of the landowner where the pig is taken. All captured pigs must be euthanized immediately. Possession of a live wild pig is illegal.

Recreational sport hunting has not been successful in reducing wild pig populations. Population control is possible through a combination of trapping whole social groups, selective shooting of trap-shy pigs, and aerial shooting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services (USDA-WS), the Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH), and the Indiana DNR ask hunters who observe or take wild pigs to report the animal(s) to the USDA-WS at 1-855-386-0370.

Reports help the cooperating agencies determine necessary control and disease-monitoring steps.

Reports should include date, best possible location information (e.g., distance and direction to nearest town, county or township, landowner’s name), approximate number and relative size of the pigs, and the observer’s contact information. Digital pictures of the pigs are helpful.