Feral swine damage to agricultural resources is caused by the animals’ rooting, trampling, wallowing and feeding activities and negatively affects a wide variety of crops, including corn, milo, rice, wheat, hay, pasture, and peanuts. Feral swine are opportunistic predators and may kill young livestock, and other small animals.
Wallowing and tree rubbing can also affect agriculture by increasing erosion, damaging nut and fruit trees, and impacting trees raised for timber. Feral swine damage to agriculture and the environment cause economic and other losses, and when combined with control costs, are estimated to be $1.5 billion annually.
Feral swine can carry diseases that affect livestock and the nation’s agricultural disease status. Diseases such as pseudorabies, swine brucellosis, and parasitic diseases in feral swine pose threats to agricultural animals. Feral swine might also serve as reservoirs of introduced or newly emerging diseases.
The WS’ National Wildlife Disease Program conducts disease surveillance, management, response, education and outreach related to feral swine.