Little piggy not for market

• Landholders are reminded it is an offence to capture, keep and transport live feral pigs, with offenders facing fines of up to $20,000. Cont

by Melissa Blewitt

Central West Local Land Services biosecurity staff discovered an attempted sale of a live feral pig while conducting routine inspections at regional saleyards recently.

Under the direction of Local Land Services stock inspectors, this animal was withdrawn from sale and destroyed.

The consignee will be held liable for all costs incurred during this process and may also face fines for breaches under the Local Land Services Act 2013.

Biosecurity officer Alicia Whiley said people need to understand that selling and keeping feral pigs really isn’t worth the risk.

“As a declared pest in NSW, it is an offence to capture, keep and transport live feral pigs, with offenders facing fines of up to $20,000,” she explained.

“Rather than turning a profit, you could end up facing large fines and council fees.”

A feral pig is defined as any pig born in the wild or has at any time run in the wild and can be identified by traits such as either multi or black colouring, coarse hair, long snouts and potentially aggressive and erratic behaviour.

“Selling live feral pigs in a domestic pig sale threatens market access and the biosecurity of all pig producers,” Miss Whiley said.

“Feral pigs can also carry potentially fatal diseases which are transferable to both animals and humans, such as leptospirosis, brucella suis and Q-fever.

Local Land Services biosecurity officers regularly attend sales and conduct random property inspections to ensure compliance.

For more information about feral pigs and how to control them on your property, please speak to a biosecurity officer at your nearest Local Land Services office.

Putting pigs in their place

Feral pig numbers are increasing across the Lachlan Shire.

ABOVE: Feral pig numbers have been increasing across the Lachlan Shire. Photo by Bec Gray.

• Feral pigs captured on camera by Local Land Services. Source: Local Land Services Central West.

By Melissa Blewitt

Feral pig numbers are increasing across the Lachlan Shire.

The pest animal has always had a natural home in the Lake Cargelligo hills, but now they are encroaching on previously untouched territory such as Burcher.

It is not uncommon for feral pigs to travel 30 to 40 kilometres in a single night, making them a mobile threat to crops and livestock.

Local Land Services Central West Senior Biosecurity Officer Craig Ridley is urging local landholders to be vigilant and report feral pig activity.

“They [the pigs] can dig up seed in rows of crops, attack grain silo bags and even predate on lambs,” he said. “They foul water points such as dams, creeks and rivers.

“Feral pigs can be hosts or vectors of a number of endemic parasites and diseases, some of which can affect humans.

“Feral pigs would also be capable of carrying and spreading a number of exotic diseases and parasites if these were to enter Australia, including foot-and-mouth disease. Overall they are just bad news for farmers.”

Feral pigs are declared pest animals under the Local Land Services Act 2013. This declaration means that feral pigs are to be continually suppressed and destroyed by land managers.

“Farmers have a legal obligation to control pest on their land,” Mr Ridley said. “LLS can help with an integrated pest animal control program and support material such as baits, traps and monitoring activity with remote cameras. The remote cameras are handy to see what activity is occurring and help us [LLS] and the farmer understand what tactics may be needed to control their pig problem. “Each individual case must be taken on its merit. Landholders need to discuss their situation with us and we can work together to create an effective eradication program.”

Mr Ridley said it is imperative that farmers be aware of pig populations and their movements, and report it to the LLS. Farmers can contact Mr Ridley at Condobolin LLS office on 02 6895 2152.

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