As from last week, feral swine are outlaws in the state of Michigan, USA. They are illegal to keep, even in a private hunting preserve.
It is estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 of non-native (Eurasian or Russian) boars are on the loose across the state. The animals are prolific breeders and can host many parasites and diseases that threaten humans, domestic livestock and wildlife. In addition, they cause extensive damage to forests, farms and water.
The Michigan state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has had shoot-on-sight approval while trying to work out regulations for the game ranches that import them for trophy hunters. Invasive species designation took effect October 1 and will be enforced as of now.
A DNR spokesman said, “We delayed active enforcement to give anybody who had them an opportunity to depopulate. We think there may be some remaining. We’re going to start working with the facilities, the owners, doing voluntary inspections. We’re hoping they will get rid of them on their own.”
As of late 2011, over 340 wild boar had been counted in Michigan, and 286 had been killed. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that there are 4 million feral swine at large nationwide.
In Michigan, where the mix can include escaped or neglected domestic pigs, feral swine are usually dark-coloured and coarse-haired. They weigh 100-200 pounds (45-90 kg).