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Nebraska Targets Wild Pigs

March 3, 2008.

From Nebraska Game and Parks Commission:

The largest group of feral hogs in Nebraska was removed from Harlan County Reservoir on Feb. 23 to keep them from becoming a threat to domestic and wild animals, crops and wildlife habitat, according to Sam Wilson, the Commission’s furbearer specialist.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission biologists and conservation officers with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a helicopter, helicopter pilot, and professional gunner from Kansas Wildlife Services, conducted the operation at the reservoir.

Wilson termed the operation “a great success,” with a total of 69 total pigs killed, including more than 25 adult pigs.

“We believe we were successful in removing more than 90 percent of the pigs in the area,” Wilson said. “We are hopeful that this population can be completely eradicated and we will continue to cover the area looking for sign.”

Wilson said there were another 17 pigs killed in Harlan County in January of 2008, and more than 40 total had been removed from the area since 2000.

Wilson said the hogs will be tested for disease – pseudorabies, swine brucellosis and swine influenza and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). “The test results will be available in about a week,” he said.

In addition to the threat of disease, feral hogs cause damage to crops and the ecosystem across the country, to the tune of $800 million annually. Wilson said a feral hog killed near Genoa in January of 2007 tested positive for pseudorabies and is an example of the threat feral hogs pose to the economy in Nebraska.

“We did confirm PRRS in tests we ran on pigs killed last year in Harlan County,” Wilson said.

Wilson added, “We are extremely interested in help from the public pertaining to future observations of feral pigs in the area. If anyone sees wild or feral pigs please call the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission immediately at (402) 471-5174.”


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