In a recent report from Stock Journal, Pork SA chair Mark McLean expressed the need for South Australian landowners to step and take responsibility for the wildlife on their property. Feral pigs, in particular, represent a great threat to livestock as vectors of a number of contagious diseases, including the highly virulent African swine fever virus. Wild swine species can also cause costly environmental damage which can upset important ecosystems.
The new policy targets pig farmers and landowners with wild pigs on their property: any feral pigs found are now to be destroyed; domestic pigs must be secured and prevented from escaping; and the release of any domestic or feral pigs is prohibited. Containment pens for domestic pigs can be reviewed by NRM officers who, if the containment facility is deemed inefficient, can request the landholder to take corrective action.
The breeding and release of feral pigs is thought to be a possible contributor and McLean hopes the new policy will address this.
"If a landholder allows pigs to breed for hunting, I would hope a $100,000 fine was a big disincentive," he said in an interview with Stock Journal.