As stated above, wild pigs are becoming an issue in the state. And in August, state legislation was passed in the state assembly and senate to essentially allow hunters to harvest more hogs. Here’s what the California Globe said about the bill:
Senate Bill 856, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), would move provisions making wild pigs an exotic species rather than a game species. While SB 856 would not allow wild pigs to be controlled by poison anymore, the pig tag requirement for hunting would be changed to a $25 yearly resident validation, or a $90 yearly non-resident validation, allowing for unlimited wild pig kills starting in 2024, rather than the current tag limit. Non-resident hunting licenses would also see wild pigs be added to the animals allowed to be hunted.
Other limits, such as setting certain number of kills based on gender of the pigs, would be removed, and would make it illegal to release any hog, boar, pig, or swine to live in a wild or feral state upon public or private land unless it is a contained hunting preserve. SB 856 would also end all state programs benefiting wild pigs beginning in July 2024, instead replacing them with hunting provisions to manage the pigs. Finally, the bill would would make it illegal to import swine into the state unless it is for slaughter or they have been given permission from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Now, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting a public meeting to determine more solutions. Here’s the press release:
Due to ongoing concerns with wild pigs in California and the damage they cause, the California Fish and Game Commission and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will be holding a virtual public forum to discuss related issues and explore potential solutions that address and reduce problems.
The forum is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will be available to the public via Zoom link. Everyone interested in participating in this important conversation should visit the Commission website (fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2022(opens in new tab)) to learn how to join the forum.”
“The Commission and CDFW have heard and understand public concerns about wild pigs in California,” said Vice President Erika Zavaleta, Chair of the Commission’s Wildlife Resources Committee. “Living with non-native, invasive species such as wild pigs can be a challenge for people and other wildlife. This forum is a chance to learn more about those challenges and discuss how we can collectively address that reality.”
This public opportunity is intended to elicit a broader discussion about wild pigs in California by presenting a scientific framework that supports open and respectful discussion, educating one another about wild pig issues and vetting potential solutions with various experts in the field. Adaptive and integrated strategies will be necessary to address concerns.
“One of the great things about the state of California is the abundance of open areas, natural habitat and diverse wildlife,” said CDFW Wildlife Branch Chief Scott Gardner. “But some non-native species, when introduced, can become prolific and destructive over time. We are looking forward to having a meaningful dialogue with residents, hunters and anyone who has an interest in – or concerns about – wild pigs in our state, so we can work together on strategies to mitigate some of the problems.”
The forum will include two panel discussions, with one focused on issues and concerns associated with wild pigs in California (including animal health, wildlife health, ecosystem health and economic impacts) and the second focused on potential solutions to the identified issues.