Farmers and ranchers who have a problem with feral hogs tearing up their crops and pastures may use a radio-collared “Judas pig tagging system” to lead them to the herds so they can be killed or relocated under a bill that won approval Wednesday from a House committee.
Senate Bill 1751 would allow landowners to put a tracking collar on a trapped feral hog within 24 hours and release it.
Hogs travel in herds and the radio-collared hog eventually would find the herd and the landowner would be able to eliminate as many of them as possible, said Rep. Don Armes, House author of the measure.
It's illegal now for anyone to release a trapped feral hog back into the wild.
“This makes it legal to release one only with a tracking collar,” said Armes, R-Faxon. “It does not open the door to release feral swine.
“They're so destructive,” he said. “They can tear up a wheat pasture rooting around or tear up grass pasture. They make a mess.”
The House of Representatives Agriculture, Wildlife and Environment Committee voted 18-0 to pass SB 1751. It now goes to the full House.
Feral hogs are a problem
Feral hogs are a growing problem in the state, especially in southern parts, Armes said.
“They're like rats,” he said. “You've got an animal out that can reproduce just as fast as you can imagine.”
Hogs can have two litters a year, with litter size ranging from five to 10 each, he said.
“There are no natural enemies for these hogs,” Armes said.
The committee also passed SB 1518 which would prohibit anyone from importing live feral swine into the state unless the hogs were going directly to a slaughter facility. The feral hogs must be shipped in a sealed trailer. Those hauling the feral hogs must have a U.S. Agriculture Department permit.
SB 1518 passed 18-0 and now goes to the full House.