The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Friday that legislation has been introduced that would prohibit hunters in New York from killing or trapping free-range Eurasian boars.
The animal was brought to North America hundreds of years ago, but populations have increased across northern states in recent years, according a release from the DEC. Department commissioner Joe Martens said that while Eurasian boars are a threat to the environment and its natural resources, hunting them only hinders the efforts of the DEC and the United States Department of Agriculture to capture the species from the wild, which is more a more effective long-term solution.
"As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our swine eradication efforts," Martens said in a statement. "Eurasian boars often join together to form a 'sounder', the name for a group of pigs sometimes numbering 20 or more individuals. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method and this often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove."
The proposed regulations, if passed, would make it illegal to not only hunt wild boars, but also to disturb traps that have been set by the DEC and the USDA. Hunters would still be permitted to hunt the animal only on hunting preserves until 2015 and certain exceptions would be outlined for wildlife and law enforcement agencies.
The DEC is accepting public comments on the proposed legislation until January 25, 2014. Comments may be submitted via email to wildlifeRegs@gw.dec.state.ny.us or mailed to Kelly Stang at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-4754.
Martens also asks anyone who spots a wild boar in New York to report the sighting to the nearest DEC wildlife office or to firstname.lastname@example.org.