USDA Wildlife Services have shot a feral pig infected with pseudorabies (Aujeszky’s Disease) in Midland County, Michigan, USA.
ProMedMail, a service of the International Society of Infectious Diseases (ISID), reported this on the basis of a statement of Keith Creagh, director of the Michigan state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The growing number of wild pigs in Michigan, and their diseases, caused them to be called a ‘nuisance species’ by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which relaxes hunting restrictions on the animals; and this latest finding of a diseased pig helps support a proposed sporting pig ban that Department of Natural Resources employees could enforce.
Creagh said the USDA Wildlife Services commenced the Midland County trap-kill-and-test programme for hogs in June last year. Since that time, six feral hogs were captured and tested for Aujeszky’s Disease and other diseases. “One of the samples, it was a young, female sub-adult, came back positive for pseudorabies,” Creagh said. “And that’s why we’re killing feral swine.”
A sporting pig ban was to take effect in July of this year, but the DNR delayed the action until October to give legislators time to create restrictions if they choose.
The order would prohibit owning or breeding non-livestock swine.
Creagh said he can’t ‘definitively’ say, but believes the captured samples were of the ‘exotic and invasive’ Eurasian bloodline originally imported as game. Because of the H1N1 flu scare in 2009, bio-security among livestock farmers was ‘really tightened’, Creagh said. He said livestock hogs are raised ‘mainly’ indoors; consequently, the chances of an escaped or wild hog interacting with a domestic livestock pig and spreading disease is ‘slim-to-none’.
• Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
• Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)