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Manitoba launches Squeal on Pigs campaign

Manitoba launches Squeal on Pigs campaign

Residents are encouraged to report any wild pig sightings

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A new campaign in Manitoba is encouraging people to report any wild pig sightings.

The provincial and federal governments, in collaboration with Manitoba Pork, launched the Squeal on Pigs campaign.

The federal and provincial governments announced an investment of $680,900 in February dedicated to projects supporting Manitoba’s pork industry.

Identifying where wild pigs have been and taking appropriate action can help minimize the damage these animals can do.

“It is critical that proactive measures be taken to protect the health of animals in our province’s pork industry, and this is why our government is pleased to have joined other supporters to invest in the Manitoba Invasive Swine Eradication Project”, said Derek Johnson, Manitoba’s ag minister.

“Manitoba Pork’s new communications and awareness initiative is another tool to help bring rapid disease detection that leads to an effective response and ensures the continued welfare of the sector.”

These pigs can cause significant damage to the areas they populate.

This includes carrying up to 89 diseases, contaminating water sources and destroying crops.

“These animals end up destroying cropland, they'll destroy pastures, they'll destroy harvested crops,” Dr. Wayne Lees, coordinator of the Manitoba Invasive Swine Eradication Project, told Farmscape. “They'll eat eggs from ground nesting birds or sometimes endangered small animals and they can have an impact far beyond just the agricultural community.”

Manitoba isn’t the only Canadian province with wild pigs management programs.

In Alberta, the Alberta Invasive Species Council launched its own Squeal on Pigs campaign in May 2021.

And this April, the Alberta government introduced the Wild Boar Control Program.

This program rewards hunters, trappers and landowners who work together to manage these feral animals.

A notable difference between the Manitoba and Alberta programs is how they approach hunting wild pigs.

Whereas the Alberta program rewards a hunter $75 per set of ears, the Manitoba campaign advises against hunting the pigs.

“Hunting disperses wild pig populations over broader areas, changes movement patterns, and can harm trapping efforts,” the Manitoba program’s website says.

Saskatchewan is also taking action to control wild pig populations.

In March, the provincial government announced it’s developing regulations for existing wild boar farms and imposing a moratorium on any new farms.

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