NC Commissioner Steve Troxler: Feral Swine Task Force Receives $2.6 Million in Grants
The Feral Swine Task Force has received more than $2.6 million in grants to help combat the feral swine problem in six North Carolina counties. Grants include $620,000 for Sampson County North, $750,000 for Sampson County South and $1.25 million for the Five County Feral Swine Trap Grant. The grant programs will run through August 2023. More information can be found online at www.ncferalswine.org
- If you don’t know about the damage feral swine can cause, count yourself lucky. Each year feral swine cause about $1.5 billion in damages to agricultural crops, landscaping and historic sites nationwide. They also carry diseases that pose significant risk to livestock, humans and pets and compete with our native wildlife for resources.
- For the past several years the NC Feral Swine Task Force has been holding listening sessions to better understand the growing issue of feral swine in the state. The task force meets quarterly to discuss effective strategies to eliminate feral swine across North Carolina.
- This group includes representatives from the NCDA&CS Veterinary and Soil and Water Conservation divisions, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, NC State Cooperative Extension, NC Division of Public Health, USDA Wildlife Services and USDA APHIS.
- Part of the work of the task force is to gain better insight into the scope of our state’s feral swine problem. Recently, the task force has received three grants aimed to help develop resources to protect our resources and start controlling the feral swine population.
- The USDA grants were part of the most recent Farm Bill and focus on Sampson, Anson, Davie, Haywood, Montgomery and Randolph counties.
- Sampson County is the center of the pilot feral swine eradication program that will help guide future management efforts across the state.
- Landowners are working with professionals to learn where feral swine occur, measure the damages they cause and to develop effective removal strategies.
- Sampson County was selected as a pilot county because of frequent feral swine sightings and crop damage.
- The county also includes numerous agricultural and livestock operations, including many of our commercial swine operations.
- For this pilot program to be successful we need landowner cooperation. Landowners can expect to work with feral swine management specialist to assess damages, place and maintain traps and remove feral swine from their property. Landowners can register for the Sampson County Feral Swine Project online at ncferalswine.org.
- The website also allows anyone to report feral swine sightings or damage. These reports can be from any county and will help the task force better map sightings and damage that occur across the state.
- An additional grant of $1.25 million will be used for the Five County Feral Swine Trap Grant. Counties included in this grant program are Anson, Davie, Haywood, Montgomery and Randolph.
- Grant funds will be used to purchase 50 traps, trail cameras and drones for use by landowners in these counties. The goal is to have the traps purchased this year so landowners can begin to sign up as early as late summer on the Feral Swine Task Force web site. The goal is to have 10 traps available to each county in the program for use.
- We are excited about the development of real solutions to help our state’s feral swine problem. Although these initial grants focus on six counties, the ultimate goal is the development of strategies that can be implemented statewide.