No freedom for captive wild pigs in Big Lakes County

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

Wild pigs in Big Lakes County will remain under control.

At its Jan. 9 meeting, county council renewed a containment agreement for the porkers for another five years.

“The agreement is focused on ensuring that commercial wild boar operations meet standards to ensure their animals do not become wild boar at large, a pest in the Agricultural Pests Act,” says a report from Vic Abel, the county’s director of public works.

Big Lakes has only one wild pig producer and it may be in the county’s best interest to remain part of the agreement, Abel’s report continued.

The initial agreement period ended on Dec. 31, 2018.

“There is no cost to the county to participate in the program,” Abel told council. “They (presumably Alberta Agriculture) come in and inspect it (presumably the farm keeping the pigs).”

Alberta Ag & Forestry’s inspection and investigation section is the body working with Ag Service Board people in municipalities with wild pig producers. Participants in the agreement commit to upholding standards and regulations aimed at preventing wild pigs from getting free and roaming at large.

The Alberta Agriculture & Forestry website calls wild pigs ‘an invasive pest in Alberta.’ Why? Because they damage crops, can spread disease, compete with native species and alter the ecosystem, among other concerns.

There is no suggestion that escaped pigs are a problem in Big Lakes County.

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