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Feral Hog

Feral Hog

Feral Hog

Meet the four-legged ecological disasters that are feral hogs.

Feral hogs, or feral pigs or swine, cause damage to wildlife habitat wherever they exist. They often directly compete for food with other species such as white-tailed deer, black bear, and wild turkey. They are known to destroy the nests of ground nesting birds as well as prey upon snakes, salamanders and other native species. Feral hogs often carry diseases or parasites that can be passed to livestock, pets, hunting dogs, or in some cases humans. The only place hogs should be found is within the confines or boundaries of their owner’s property as a livestock or domestic animal, where they are cared for according to all livestock or domestic animal regulations. Anywhere outside of these physical and regulatory boundaries they are a direct threat to our natural resources, environmental quality, and agricultural interests.

Feral hogs in Virginia are defined as “any swine that are wild or for which no proof of ownership can be made” and are designated as a nuisance species per the Code of Virginia (§29.1-100) and the Virginia Administrative Code (4VAC15-20-160). Escaped domestic hogs can become feral hogs if not recaptured and kept in an agricultural capacity. All feral hogs — wild pigs, wild hogs, wild boars, and Russian boars — are of the species Sus scrofa and fall under this designation despite color of hair or any other physical differences hogs may have.

If you see or have evidence of feral hogs, please report it to the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline at 1-855-571-9003. Hunting alone will not control these populations and may in fact make the population harder to control so please contact us for more help. If you have evidence that someone is illegally releasing feral pigs on the landscape please contact a Conservation Police Officer at: or 800-237- 5712.

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