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NC Commissioner Troxler: New Pilot Feral Swine Program

A new pilot program that loans feral swine traps to individuals in a five-county area hopes to make an impact in reducing these destructive pests. The traps, which can be borrowed for up to a month, include a remote trigger system that allows an operator to monitor the trap with a smartphone in real time and close the gate when the entire group of pigs is inside.

  • We have talked about the destruction caused by feral swine before on this radio show and some of the ways the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have been working to reduce their populations.

  • Feral swine root and wallow, destroying food crops, polluting waterways and devastating natural areas as they move around.

  • A new five-county pilot program involving loaner traps hopes to make significant inroads on their numbers in these counties.

  • Under the program, landowners in Anson, Davie, Haywood, Montgomery and Randolph counties can borrow a high-tech corral trap for up to a month for free.

  • These traps include a remote trigger system that allows an operator to monitor it with a smartphone in real time and close the gate when the entire group of pigs is inside.
     
  • Program participants are responsible for baiting and monitoring the trap and disposing of pigs that are captured. Assistance with disposal can be requested.
     
  • By law, feral swine may not be released alive from any trap.
      
  • The corrals are designed to capture groups of swine to more effectively reduce their numbers. While some landowners may be able to successfully remove one or two at a time, a pregnant sow can have as many as a dozen piglets in one litter.

  • Because they reproduce so quickly, you have to focus on how many are missed and left to multiply.

  • Corralling groups of feral swine should be more effective.  
  • You can find more information on the trap loan program online at ncferalswine.org
  • The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking people to report feral swine sightings, harvests and damage. You can also find a link to the reporting form at ncferalswine.org.
  • Collecting this information is important as it helps develop resources and guide future management efforts.