Australia is increasing efforts to halt the spread of feral pigs and prevent African swine fever (ASF). On Tuesday, John Maher was appointed as the leader of the National Feral Pig Action Plan, reports ABC Rural.
Australia’s 23-million feral pig population continues to threaten Australian pork producers. The $5 billion pork industry is at risk from this deadly virus of pigs that has now been reported in nearby New Guinea.
On June 16, a three-day, aerial feral pig shoot began on Kangaroo Island, located off the mainland of South Australia. The shoot is part of a $2.67-million commitment from the state government announced the same day, The Islander reports. Specialists will be shooting feral pigs from a helicopter flying above western Kangaroo Island parks.
The shoot being undertaken by National Parks and Wildlife Service SA will focus on Kelly Hill Conservation Park, Flinders Chase National Park including Cape Borda, Cape Bouguer and the Ravine des Casoars wilderness protection areas, the article said. No park access will be allowed during the shoot.
The state government’s high-intensity program is aimed at curbing the pest's destruction, The Islander said. The pigs are causing ongoing damage to pastures, grain and potato crops, fence lines and dams. They are also impacting the environment and threatening endangered species such as the brown bandicoot, the Kangaroo Island dunnart and the Kangaroo Island echidna.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said recent surveys showed feral pigs are now on the move looking for fungi as they pop up after heavy rain, The Islander reports.
The program, funded by the federal government and coordinated locally, builds on Kangaroo Island’s ongoing feral pig control work since the bushfires.
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