State officials to study options for downsizing wild hog population

A joint meeting of the Mississippi Senate and House Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committees will be held at 10 a.m., on Monday, September 9, 2013, in room 113 of the Capitol, seeking ways to downsize the wild hog population.

Experts from across the state and around the country will lend their expertise on what state leaders should do to curb the growing threat that the animals pose to farmers and landowners who can literally go broke from the destruction of  their property.

More than half of Mississippi’s 82 counties have nuisance wild hog populations and the numbers are rapidly increasing as they can birth several litters per year of multiple pigs beginning at six months old.

As their numbers increase so does their range and their voracious appetites.

Senator Giles Ward, R-Louisville, Chairman of the Senate Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committee, said he hoped that experts, who include Certified Wildlife Biologist and Mississippi State University professor Bruce D. Leopold, Ph.D., Sharp Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Executive Director of the Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts, will provide the information needed to battle the problem.

“It concerns me that many Mississippians are not aware of the serious nuisance and threat Mississippi’s feral hogs present to our economy. If this were a virus, it would be considered an epidemic,” Ward said. “These animals are reproducing far faster than they are being eliminated. They can destroy a huge row crop overnight.  It’s great that many sportsmen are hunting the animals, but these are NOT sport animals. They are a nuisance and we have got to develop an effective plan for reducing the ever growing population of wild hogs.”