One state agency is reviewing its options for addressing the problems posed by wild hogs, now that a new Pennsylvania law removes the animals from their regulatory control.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission had been trying to ban feral swine, which have been known to escape hunting preserves and cause damage to habitats and farmland.
The new law is causing concern just to the north in New York state, according to Cal DuBrock, head of the agency’s Bureau of Wildlife Management.
“They’ve got a prohibition and we’ve got facilities in Pennsylvania very close to the New York line, and they’re concerned that they’ve done the steps they can and the swine aren’t going to honor their boundaries and [will] wander into New York as well,” DuBrock said.
DuBrock says his agency will work with the Department of Agriculture, which now has the authority to regulate wild pigs under the law signed by the governor last month.
“They’re pretty intelligent animals, they’re awful hard to pattern. As you put pressure on them, they tend to disperse,” DuBrock said. “So, it’s quite a challenge, actually, to gain control over them once they become established.”
Supporters of the measure included state lawmakers with wild boar hunting preserves in their districts.
Now, DuBrock says, the commission is regrouping — trying to find some way to regulate the feral swine without banning them altogether.