Feral pigs a continuing problem

Feral pigs are a restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act and growers have a general biosecurity obligation to take all reasonable and practical measures to minimise biosecurity risks associated with all invasive animals.

Pig populations in the region are increasing rapidly and costing growers’ tens of thousands of dollars in management tactics and lost productivity.

Unfortunately, we’re not even putting a dent in the population numbers.

With feral pigs and many other animals, breeding occurs under good conditions and can occur year-round.

Sows can produce two litters per year with each litter producing between four-10 piglets.

You can see here, how, in good seasons which we’re currently experiencing, populations can double in a 12-month period.

Feral pigs are far from the cute little Babe character readers may be familiar with.

Generally, with coarser short black or black and white spotted hair, longer snouts and tusks and smaller pricked ears than their registered designated animal counterparts.

They are incredibly smart and can damage irrigation lines by flicking off sprinklers to access water and cause significant damage within crops and inter-rows seeking out food sources.

They love all the foods we grow here in the region and are currently causing significant damage to peanuts and macadamia crops among others.

Pig populations are significantly increasing within State Forest land which is essentially a save haven for them.

Licensed shooters do not have access to these areas which if allowed would significantly assist in reducing pest populations.

Once pigs are on farm we have additional food safety, work health and safety and biosecurity controls that need to be considered which adds to the complexity of managing this pest.

The State Government has committed $1million to the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative in the State Budget however I’m concerned that given this category covers several pests and weeds and is for the entire State it simply isn’t enough.

We know eradication will never be achieved but a coordinated well-funded approach in the region will assist growers and this is something we are seeking support on from all relevant parties including Industry, service providers, State Government and Council.