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Feral pigs staying north of Montana border
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Feral pigs staying north of Montana border

Contract hunters and trappers in Saskatchewan have decreased the populations of wild hogs, reducing but not eliminating the threat to Montana agricultural producers.

James Tansey, of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, updated the Montana Environmental Quality Council on Tuesday regarding the Canadian province's efforts to control wild pigs.

In the past five years, 575 feral hogs have been removed from the province, said Darby Warner, of the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. 

The closest wild hogs have been documented to Montana's northern border was about 140 miles two years ago, Tansey said.

Since 2018, Montana has been on alert to the possibility that wild hogs could travel to the state. In 2019 the state began a squeal on pigs campaign to alert the public and to respond to possible sightings.

In the past year, the state received 17 reports of feral hogs, none of which were verified, according to Marty Zaluski, the state veterinarian. Instead, the reports turned out to be loose farm pigs, 3-D archery targets and a dead elk calf.

"We're pleased that people are aware and calling us," Zaluski said. "We take reports highly seriously."

Wild pigs are an invasive species that cause damage to crops and native wildlife and can also carry disease. They were introduced to Saskatchewan in the 1990s.

More information on feral pigs, and how to report them, can be found online at squealonpigsMT.com

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