Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New rules in place to control feral pigs, wolf-dog hybrids and mute swans

So I know this isnt a whitetail article, but its a pretty intersting news release that most hunters have inquired about lately.


MADISON - Rules going into effect this summer are designed to prevent new introductions of three invasive species. Under the rules effective July 1, 2010,, people must have a license to possess wolf-dog hybrids, feral or wild swine, and mute swans in captivity.

Also as of July 1, it is illegal to release any of these species into the wild and such releases can result in penalties of up to $1,142, as well as restitution costs for any damage caused by these animals.

“All three species have proven their ability to exist in the wild in Wisconsin,” says Scott Loomans, wildlife regulations specialist for the Department of Natural Resources. “Wild and feral swine for instance, are opportunistic omnivores that eat an amazing amount and variety of plants and wild animals.”

Feral and wild swine disturb habitat for, and compete with, a wide range of native animals, wild plants and agricultural crops. They disturb native ground cover creating avenues for infestation by invasive plants. Through digging and rooting activities, large family groups have caused locally significant damage to crops. They even pose a health threat to domestic animals. Of primary concern are diseases such as pseudorabies, brucellosis and tuberculosis. While these diseases can be eliminated from domestic livestock herds, wild or feral swine that persist on the landscape could be disease reservoirs that continually reintroduce diseases to domestic herds.

In most cases, the possession of feral or wild swine is now prohibited. A limited exemption is available for some people who possessed animals on July 1, 2010 and who apply for a license with the Department of Natural Resources by September 28, 2010. The rules do not apply to owners of domestic hogs and no action is required by traditional pork producers.

Feral or wild swine include wild strains of swine commonly known by the name European, Eurasian, Russian, feral or domestic strains. Feral domestic strains also include animals which are confined but which exhibit characteristics of being in an untamed state, and hybrids of wild or feral with domestic swine. Included in this definition are any swine that is captured in the wild or from an unconfined environment after it has existed in the wild or unconfined environment outside of an enclosure for more than seven days, regardless of its physical characteristics.

Source: Wisconsin DNR

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