Experts warn of feral hog “explosion” in Missouri

Feral Hogs

Director of Texas Wildlife Services, Michael Bodenchuk says Missouri should be bracing for a “pig bomb” the Missourian reports.

Bodenchuk knows how quickly feral hog populations can rise. In Texas, the population started to grow slowly before exploding at a rate of 21% per year between 2006 and 2010.

The result in Texas was $89 million in crop damages. The hogs are known to ear row crops, damage local ecosystems and feed on calves, lambs, and goats.

Bodenchuk told Missouri lawmakers he believes they are in a similar spot that Texas was 35 years ago.

“And without some purposeful management and movement towards eradication, you could be in the same place we are now, which is not a good place to be,” Bodenchuk said.

The animals are now in 40 states and cause more than $2 billion in damages a year.

In 2014 Congress gave the USDA funding to establish a national feral swine program that gives around $750,000 to support Missouri’s removal efforts.