Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners Takes Action Against Feral Swine

After considerable discussion, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a proposal to remove protection for feral swine and wild boar statewide, wherever found, in order to protect the natural resources of the Commonwealth, its traditional agricultural and forest products industries and mitigate threats to human health and safety.
The Game Commission views the complete eradication of feral swine and wild boar from the wild within Pennsylvania as a necessary step to prevent further harm to our natural resources, agricultural industry, forest products industry and threats to human health and safety,” said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. “The Game Commission previously promulgated an Executive Order to remove protection for feral swine, and we’ve worked with the state and federal agriculture departments to trap and remove feral swine populations.
“This action, which must receive final approval by the Board at its April meeting, is the next step, and is the result of our soliciting public input over the years, including a request for comment in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.”
The Game Commission also is proposing to prohibit the importation, possession and release into the wild of feral swine and wild boar to further these ends.
In separate action, the Board also proposed adding feral swine and wild boar to the list of species that may be lawfully taken during the regular antlered and antlerless deer seasons (Dec. 2-14).
In 2007, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that the Game Commission has jurisdiction over matters relating to wild boars, which is a member of the family Suidae, and also a feral swine, in Seeton v. PGC. Since that time, the agency first attempted to address those animals reproducing and inhabiting the wild. With this regulatory change, the agency now is focusing on the source of those animals, which are not native to Pennsylvania.

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