Open season on B.C.'s wild pigs

(FOTOLIA)

(FOTOLIA)

Ben Bulmer, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:18 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Fears of being overrun by wild pigs have prompted the provincial government to allow anyone with a hunting licence to take the animals.

The government said the feral pigs can be hunted with no restrictions.

The pigs, which are not indigenous to B.C., threaten large amounts of damage to agriculture and the environment.

Although the number of feral pigs in the province is unknown, the government says the initiative is in response to the increasing problem in the U.S., Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

But B.C. Wildlife Federation spokesman Alan Martin dismissed the new regulation, insisting such hunts haven’t been effective in controlling numbers in other jurisdictions.

“It needs a lot more work and investment than a simple change in regulation,” Martin said.

Martin described the threat of feral pigs as “very real and serious” and said a co-ordinated program using well-trained professionals is needed to deal with the invasive species.

A ministry spokesman said although hunting alone will not control feral pig populations, the initiative is a proactive measure to encourage hunters to go out and harvest the animals before they become established.

The ministry reiterated if populations grow in future, the government will likely take more measures.


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