Feral Pigs Become A Growing Problem In St. Lawrence County

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Dwayne Donaldson says he was driving along a section of Swamp Road in the town of Lisbon last winter when he saw something crossing the road in front of him.
 
What he saw was evidence of a small, but growing, feral pig population believed to be living in the Murphy Road/Swamp Road area of Lisbon.

The problem usually starts when the pigs escape from captivity and quickly adapt to a wild habitat.

When the pigs turn wild, they can cause serious problems and that is what worries Donaldson.

"From what I've heard of the destruction that they do, yeah, it does concern me," he said.
 
The concern is that the feral pig population will grow and spread to other locations.

The wild pigs not only carry can carry disease, but also can destroy agricultural land.

"They can do substantial damage to growing crops if they're rooting around for grubs and other things in the soil," said James Farquhar of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
 
The state DEC is working on a strategy to handle the problem should it start to get out of hand.

Right now, the wild pig population appears to only be in a pocket of St. Lawrence County, but under the right conditions, the feral pigs can breed as early as six months of age - producing litter sizes of between two to eight young.
 
While the feral pigs are considered nocturnal, preferring night to day to roam, the DEC says hunters with small game licenses are being allowed to kill the pigs if they encounter them in the woods.

The DEC also asks anyone who kills a wild hog to notify the regional office at (315) 785-2239 or (315) 265-3090.

More information

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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