Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, is establishing a National Feral Pig Coordinator to tackle Australia’s feral pig population as the threat of African swine fever creeps closer to Australia.
Feral pigs cost the swine industry $14.5 million yearly due to production losses. This cost would increase exponentially if ASF were to reach Australia as feral pigs would infect healthy comercial herds with the deadly disease. Estimates predict that ASF would cost $2 billion in losses.
With the feral pig herd so populous and widespread the disease would spread far and wide. The 25 million feral pigs live on 45 per cent of Australia’s landmass and the losses feral pigs cause farmers and pastoralists is even more acute during drought when water and feed is so precious.
Northern Territory Senator McMahon has called for government action in response to the industry's request to manage the feral pigs and their risk to the hog industry. $1.4 million is to be invested over the next 3.5 years to support a national feral pig coordinator who will work alongside researchers and natural resource management groups.
November 8, 2019/ Minister of Agriculture/ Australia.