State bans Eurasian wild boars
Story by Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY October 25, 2013 Thanks to legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo this week, Eurasian wild boars are on their way to being illegal in New York State.
As of this past Monday, it is against the law to import, breed or release Eurasian boars or hybrids in New York. Existing owners of such boars can possess, sell, distribute, trade or transport them up until September 1, 2015, after which that too will be illegal.
A fine of up to $500 per animal will be assessed for first and second violations. Subsequent violations will result in a fine of $1,000 for each animal for each act, or an amount equal to three times the value of the animal as meat production, breeding stock or shooting stock.
Owners of other pigs, including the pot-bellied variety popular as pets, are unaffected by this new law.
The legislation addresses concerns by state and local officials that the non-native pig species is destroying crops, preying on pets and wildlife, and carrying diseases harmful to both animals and humans.
Ultimately, it will affect businesses like Pond Ridge Hunts in Bethel, which raises the wild boars to be hunted on a preserve near Hancock. However, for now, it remains legal to hunt the creatures.
In the meantime, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture officials have installed wildlife cameras along properties adjacent to the Bethel boars’ pens and the Hancock preserve, in response to sightings of wild pigs running free in the area.
USDA Wildlife Disease Biologist Justin Gansowski confirmed yesterday that, since mid-summer, around 30 Eurasian boars have been caught on camera, captured and killed all of them, however, on the Sullivan-Delaware County border near Hancock.
If you think you’ve come across a Eurasian boar or evidence of one, the state and feds want to know. Photos are especially desirable, along with as detailed a description as can be given. Either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-477-4837.