Invasive species advocate worried Alberta bounty will bring feral pigs to Peace Region

(AP Photo/Richard Nowitz, U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife)

There have been no feral pig reports for two years in the Peace Region, but one advocate says our province is next to have a wild pig problem. 

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. says early wild pig detection can avoid damage and disease. Executive Director Gail Wallin said "If you take a look as Saskatchewan or even Alberta. They didn't take action on their numbers when they were low because they didn't know about them," she said.

A population has not established B.C. but the province next door is adding incentive to hunting.

In Alberta’s Municipal District of Peace pigs hunters can now bring home more than just the bacon. Trappers who are government approved can make $75 per set of pig ears with the expectation they will eliminate whole sounders… or herds.

But Wallin says hunting can be a part of the problem "You take one out or hunt one out it causes the rest to be more cautious and to start being harder to find. So now you're going to find it more difficult to find pig number two or pig number three. That's why you want to treat it as a unit."

A spokesperson for B.C.’s Ministry of Land, Water and Resource stewardship said quote "while hunting is not the best accepted practice for dealing with feral pig populations, hunters can remove isolated pigs but must report them."

The province adding they're working across jurisdiction to tackle this invasive species and collaboration on feral pigs is critical for Wallin.

"Invasive species don't respect any borders, whether it's provincial, municipal, my property or yours," Wallin said.

In the meantime, the province is investigating the population. There were no sightings from air and land surveys last month in the Peace Region even near the Alberta border. 

However, if you spot a suspect pig the province says to report it through their invasive species app, website or RAPP line.