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Feral pig baiting most effective control method

News release
24 May 2018

Posted 24 May 2018.

Land managers have been advised that the most effective method for broad scale control of feral pigs is baiting and trapping during a feral pig workshop held near Yunta last week

The workshop, at Curnamona Station in the North East Pastoral District, 100km from Yunta, was attended by 23 land managers and was held in response to the number of feral pigs detected during a survey coordinated by the SA Arid Lands NRM Board last year.

New South Wales Feral pig behaviour experts, Troy Crittle from the Department of Primary Industries NSW and Grant Davis of Local Land Services NSW, presented at the workshop and demonstrated the importance of baiting pigs as an effective control method.

“If you see a pig on your property there could easily be another 10 you aren’t seeing so if you want to achieve maximum control, rather than shooting the one pig and scaring the rest away, it is much more effective to carry out a baiting program,” Mr Crittle said.

With pigs easy to train with food, they highlighted the importance of free feeding for five to 10 days prior to laying poison baits. To better observe and understand feral pig behaviour they also set up a trap near a tank overflow with camera monitoring on Curnamona Station.

Land managers discussed the importance of working with neighbouring properties to alert them to pig sightings or signs, including scratching and evidence of wallowing in areas with water and mud, tusk damage to trees near water and square type hoof prints, to enable a community-wide approach to deal with the issue.

Damage by feral pigs is estimated to cost Australian agriculture more than $100 million a year as feral pigs can kill and eat young lambs, they compete with livestock for pasture and drought feed, and damage fences and waterholes. The animals also cause severe environmental degradation through fouling up watering points, selective feeding on plant communities, eating frogs, reptiles, birds and small mammals and spreading weeds and disease.*

Background

The North East Pastoral NRM Group Members raised the issue of increased feral pig sightings with the SA Arid Lands NRM Board. A survey was initiated by the Board with financial assistance through Drought Recovery funding, and included analysis of current and historical feral pig numbers. A recommendation of the survey was to give practical advice to landholders around managing feral pigs, resulting in last week’s workshop. The survey would not have been possible without the support of landholders, traditional owners, volunteers and other support staff.

For further information on feral pig control visit the PestSmart website.

* Feral Pig Factsheet, NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage.

More information

Communications Officer

86485979

cherie.gerlach@sa.gov.au