The BCWF’s preliminary work with the Invasive Species Council of B.C. and Dr. Ryan Brook (University of Saskatchewan) indicates that B.C. needs an action plan that provides policy and direction for the prevention of accidental and intentional release of domestic pigs, as well as dealing with pigs once they are in the wild.
There are no “native” wild pigs in Canada so anything that looks like a pig and is not captive inside a fence is a serious concern, including pigs that are grey, brown, reddish, or even pink in colour.
Any pig that has accidentally escaped or has been purposely released into the wild is of concern, including pot bellied pigs. All pigs have the ability to reproduce rapidly — wild pigs have already caused widespread problems in parts of Canada and many American states. Please do not release pigs of any type into the wild.
Under BC’s Wildlife Act a Feral Pig means a pig of the genus Sus that is not in captivity or is not otherwise under a person’s control. Section 77 of the Wildlife Act makes it illegal for a person to release or abandon an animal from captivity.
It is important that invasive wild pigs not get established in B.C. because of their potential negative impacts on wildlife and habitat.
Interagency discussions on developing an invasive wild pig strategy have started within government in B.C., with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy taking the lead, but more action is needed. There is work underway in the Pacific Northwest and at the national level, which will support preparing and taking action to protect our province.
If you see an invasive wild pig(s), note the location (with GPS coordinates if possible) and take photographs if you can. Sightings of invasive wild pigs need to be reported:
- Provincial government asks that feral pigs be reported using the Report Invasives phone app, or via the webform available on the B.C. Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group here. Download the free reporting app:
- The Invasive Species Council of B.C. (ISCBC) encourages reporting by the above methods (“Report Invasives” phone app). You can also report sighting on the ISCBC’s website or by calling their hotline 1888-933-3722.
The Government of Ontario has recently released its Strategy to Address Invasive Wild Pigs and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) have supported Ontario’s development of the strategy. In addition, OFAH has developed their own OFAH policy, including a rationale as to why hunters should not be pursuing wild pigs. The B.C. Wildlife Federation is committed to working on building a provincial strategy with provincial government, the Invasive Species Council of BC and others, as well as developing a BCWF policy on invasive wild pigs.