Groups renew partnerships to eliminate feral hogs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Partnerships between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), conservation groups, agriculture organizations, and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) forge ahead with the approval of a grant from the MCHF to provide the state’s feral hog strike team with additional trapping equipment.

The MCHF grant includes $79,500 and an additional in-kind contribution in the form of labor and equipment equaling a total value of $132,900. Brent Vandeloecht, MDC’s Agriculture Liaison, said the grant will provide 60 additional traps, building materials and trail cameras for the feral hog strike team to assist landowners with feral hog problems. The grant also includes efforts to help spread the educational message that feral hogs are bad for Missouri.

“We continue to have success eliminating hogs and educating the public on the need to continue elimination efforts,” said Vandeloecht. “The grant and the collaboration with our partners ensure the success will continue and we can work with even more private landowners to relieve hog damage on both private and public land.”

The following organizations have partnered with MDC and MCHF to provide these resources for trapping efforts on private and public land, and to fund public education efforts on the dangers of feral hogs:

Missouri Farm Bureau
Missouri Corn Growers Association
Missouri Soybean Association
Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council
Missouri Cattlemen’s Association
Missouri Pork Association
Missouri Agribusiness Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
Quality Deer Management Association
Quail Forever
Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation
Missouri Rural Water Association
Kansas City Agribusiness Club
Saint Louis Agribusiness Club
Missouri Farmers Care
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Department of Agriculture
Conservation Federation of Missouri Charitable Trust
AgriServices of Brunswick
Missouri Forest Products Association
Honey Creek Media
Association of Missouri Electrical Cooperatives (AMEC)
LAD Foundation

Feral hogs are not wildlife and are a serious threat as they’ve expanded their range in the U.S. from 17 to 38 states over the past 30 years, according to Vandeloecht. Their populations grow rapidly because feral hogs can breed any time of year and produce two litters of one to seven piglets every 12 to 15 months.

Economic loss from feral hog damage in the U.S. is estimated at more than 1.5 billion dollars per year. They damage property, agriculture, and natural resources by their aggressive rooting of soil in addition to their trampling and consumption of crops as part of their daily search for food. They also will eat young wildlife, such as turkey poults and new fawns. Feral hogs are also known to carry diseases such as swine brucellosis, pseudorabies, trichinosis and leptospirosis, which are a threat to Missouri agriculture and human health.

“Research shows that about 70 percent of the feral hog population needs to be removed yearly to keep populations of feral hogs from increasing,” Vandeloecht said. “We cannot achieve that without this partnership to increase equipment availability and we won’t achieve that without continued education and cooperation with the public.”

MDC asks that landowners report, don’t shoot feral hogs. By reporting hog sightings, landowners can receive assistance in trapping the full sounder of feral hogs on their land.