The Limestone Coast Landscape Board has successfully eradicated an outbreak of feral pigs in the Kingston area.
Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019, pigs are declared for control and the Act includes separate declarations for domestic (farmed) and feral pigs.
Feral pigs are pigs that are not held in captivity.
Limestone Coast Landscape Board operations manager Mike Stevens (pictured) said it was believed the pigs had been illegally released.
“The control efforts succeeded with close to 20 feral pigs being successfully removed, a subsequent investigation by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board indicate the pigs were likely to have been illegally released in the Reedy Creek area south-east of Kingston,” he said.
Mr Stevens said the prevention and early response to incursions of feral pigs was a cost-effective alternative to long term control of established feral pig populations.
“The impact of feral pigs on the landscape is considerable,” he said.
“They eat native plants, pasture and crops, damage soils in wetlands, grasslands and forests, eat native animals and lambs, reduce water quality, damage fences and have significant potential to spread diseases and are also known to attract illegal hunters, on both private and public lands.
“Following the pig outbreak reports, landscape officers with the Limestone Coast Landscape Board have worked in close partnership with the affected landholders to rapidly respond to the situation, investing substantial resources to eradicate the feral pigs through methods such as shooting, trapping and poisoning.
“Local landholders who reported the outbreak worked closely with landscape officers to deploy cameras, build traps, lay poison baits and shoot to remove the animals from the region.
“I applaud the affected farmers for their efforts to quickly contact the Limestone Coast Landscape Board to ensure a rapid response to the outbreak and we are urging the community in the area to remain vigilant and to report any further sightings to the Limestone Coast Landscape Board.
“We do not want feral pigs to establish in our region as they would have substantial economic impacts to farmers and cause significant environmental destruction.
“Anyone with intelligence about who is releasing the pigs are encouraged to contact the Limestone Coast Landscape Board to assist our investigations.”
In South Australia, there are substantial penalties associated with the movement, sale, possession and release of pigs into the landscape, with individuals receiving penalties of up to $125,000 or imprisonment for two years.
Furthermore, landholders are responsible for destroying feral pigs on their land under section 192(1) of the Act.
In South Australia, domestic pigs must be identified and confined to ensure they are clearly differentiated from feral pigs.
Any feral pig sightings should be reported via the Limestone Coast Landscape Board website www.landscape.sa.gov.au/lc or to the nearest regional office at Mount Gambier on 08 8735 1204 or Keith on 08 8755 1620.