This program, funded in part by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, aims to support pork producers in the detection of wild pigs (including escaped domestic pigs) to help manage the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF) and other production-limiting diseases potentially being transmitted between wild pigs and domestic swine herds.
The term “wild pig” refers to any member of the pig species (Sus scrofa) that is free-ranging outside of a fenced enclosure. Wild pigs, also known as wild swine or feral hogs, bring with them the threat of disease, economic and ecological destruction, and risk to public safety. Types of wild pigs include Eurasian wild boar, escaped domestic pigs, pot-bellied pigs, and their hybrids, all of which can cause damage and are of concern. Ontario continues to have periodic sightings of wild pigs across the province.
Wild pigs spread diseases such as ASF. The control of wild pigs (and eradication where possible) has been highlighted by the Canadian Pork Council as one of four key components to mitigate the risk of ASF in Canada. If ASF is detected in Ontario or Canada, demand for enhanced surveillance of wild pigs will drastically increase as producers will want to assure the risks are detected and responded to efficiently to manage disease risk to their farmed swine populations. Agriculture stakeholders, including pork producers and veterinarians, have indicated support for control of wild pigs in Ontario to address diseases and other risks posed to the pork industry.
The early detection of any free-ranging pigs is vital to preventing the establishment of this invasive species. The use of trail cameras by engaged members of the public, including pork producers, has the potential to broaden the existing scope of wild pig monitoring efforts within the province. A high degree of spatial accuracy, credibility, and low-cost make this kind of citizen science an ideal option for monitoring.
How can you help?
Be on the look-out for wild pigs!
We are currently encouraging pork produces, as well as members of the general public to become engaged by following our OFAH Wild Pig Trail Camera Detection Protocol and putting out your own trail cameras to look for wild pigs. During your surveillance or any other time, if you think you’ve seen a wild pig, take a photo, mark your location, and report to the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or by sending an email to email@example.com
The Wild Pig Surveillance Program is looking for pork producers to receive and operate loaner trail cameras to detect wild pigs on the landscape.
Chosen volunteers will receive a loaner kit, which includes one SpyPoint trail camera, two 16gb memory cards, a safety lockbox with padlock, a python lock for locking the camera to a tree, eight AA batteries, keys, and a “heavy duty” box with foam inserts. Volunteers will be asked to keep an eye on the landscape for invasive wild pigs and to report any suspected sightings.
If you’d like to be a part of this important effort to protect Ontario’s environment and economy, fill out our survey by clicking on the button below: