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Tracking wild pigs in Ontario

Tracking wild pigs in Ontario

The Ministry of Natural Resources became aware of a group of animals on Nov. 5

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources is on the lookout for a group of wild pigs.

The ministry received information on Nov. 5 about a group of wild pigs spotted in Pickering.

The pigs are believed to Eurasian wild boars, which are listed as an invasive species under the Invasive Species Act.

Locating and capturing these animals quickly is important, said Morgan Kerekes, a ministry spokesperson.

“Wild pigs are not native to Ontario and can have a negative impact on native wildlife and ecosystems,” she said, CTV News reported on Nov. 15. “They have high reproductive potential which means that populations can increase in number and spread rapidly, making their impacts more severe.”

The ministry is planning to bait and capture, and likely euthanize, the wild pigs.

These pigs can destroy crops and carry and transmit over 80 viruses and parasites that animals and humans can contract.

This according to a Ministry of Natural Resources report documenting wild pig sightings.

Between April, 1 2020 and March 31, 2020, nine unique wild pig sightings were reported per month, the report says.

Pickering residents have seen the wild boars.

The animals have visited Mary Delaney’s yard on two occasions.

“They were outside my kitchen window, four of them, and had been digging up the ground all around our bird feeder,” she told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Monday.

Some farms in Ontario raise wild boar as livestock for meat.

But the Ontario government is phasing out this part of the livestock sector by 2024.

The phase out will begin in January 2022.

As of Jan. 1, the import, possession, transport, propagation, lease, trade, buying and selling of the Eurasian wild boar will be prohibited.

Farmers and owners who have these animals on Jan. 1 will be eligible for a two-year exception period, which expires on Dec. 31, 2023.

Anyone who spots the wild pigs is asked to email or call 11-833-933-2355.

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