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June 19, 2013

New York Lawmakers Pass Critical Legislation On Invasive Wild Pigs

Importing, possessing, selling or releasing wild pigs would be illegal in New York under a bill that now awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature. The measure, which covers non-native Eurasian boar, wild pigs and their hybrids, would ban high-fenced shooting preserves and breeders from stocking these animals. Violators would be fined $500 to more than $1,000.

A.3767/S.5733, sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick, D-New York, and Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, passed the House with a 136-5 vote and the Senate with a 62-1 vote.

Brian Shapiro, New York state director for The Humane Society of the United States said: “For too long, these invasive species have been escaping fenced enclosures and wreaking havoc on our environment. We are grateful to our sponsors and the legislature for recognizing the importance of protecting our native wildlife and livestock and strongly urge Governor Cuomo to sign this critical legislation right away.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and United States Department of Agriculture actively pursued this vital legislation and conducted educational campaigns across the state, which greatly aided in its passage.

Also known as wild pigs or feral swine, Eurasian boars are notorious for escaping their fenced enclosures, and establishing breeding populations throughout New York. Eurasian boar can spread diseases to native wildlife populations and livestock, threatening the agriculture industry. The rooting behavior of wild pigs can also damage sensitive ecosystems and farmland. The animals have been found in 38 states around the country, and eradication efforts through hunting have been largely unsuccessful. 

Facts:

  • The USDA estimates that feral pigs inflict more than one billion dollars in damages every year.
  • Wild pigs can spread diseases such as pseudorabies and brucellosis, which threaten domestic livestock populations.
  • Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill June 7, 2013 that would prohibit the importation and possession of wild pigs. Michigan and Kansas also recently took action to prohibit captive hunting of wild pigs.
  • Eurasian boars are often bred for captive shoots, where they are stocked inside fenced enclosures for hunting targets.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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