Wild Boars on the run in north Pickering

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Published November 15, 2021 at 9:56 am

A pack of invasive wild boars is on the loose in north Pickering, prompting the City and Ministry of Natural Resources to issue warnings to residents to give the pigs a wide berth and to report any sightings.

Wild pigs can be escaped domestic pigs, exotic breeds like potbellied pigs or Eurasian Wild Boars, which have been imported over the past few years as an alternative livestock on farms for meat. The Pickering pack of 14 has been identified as the latter.

Hunting is not an option to control the animals as it is an ineffective means of eradicating the pigs and because the ministry wants an opportunity to return the animals to their owners, if possible.

The plan is for the ministry to bait and trap the animals.

Wild pigs have a “severe impact” on the environment and their high reproductive rate means they can increase their numbers quickly. According to the ministry, the animal competes with native wildlife for food, water, and space; spread disease to wildlife such as African Swine Flu; contribute to erosion with their trampling and wallowing; and damage crops and pasturelands.

If you see a wild pig you are asked to call 1-833-933-2355 or email [email protected]

The importation of wild boars to Ontario program is being phased out, starting January 1, and will be complete by 2024.

Photo Mary Delaney

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