Oklahoma Farm Bureau recently submitted comments on the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s proposed rules regarding feral hogs.
The proposed rules create a feral swine-free zone which includes 11 northwest Oklahoma counties. They also increase recordkeeping requirements for transporting, handling and sporting facilities. Restrictions on bringing feral swine into the state also are made permanent by the rule.
ODAFF claims the rules will “adopt aggressive measures for the eradication of feral swine in the state of Oklahoma.”
Yet OKFB found the rules lenient, saying the “proposed rules have the appearance of being a step in the right direction; however, they are not aggressive enough to even begin to achieve the goal of feral hog eradication.”
At its annual meeting in November, the OKFB delegate body adopted strong anti-feral hog policy including opposition to the transportation of live feral hogs and commercial sport hunting. The policy also adamantly supports the complete eradiciation of feral hogs.
Feral hogs have invaded each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. In 2007, the Noble Foundation estimated Oklahoma’s feral hog population between 617,000 and 1.4 million. To prevent the population from growing, at least 70 percent of the feral hogs must be eradicated each year. The invasive species cost farmers and ranchers in the U.S. an estimated $1.5 billion annually.
OKFB urges its members to email a comment to ODAFF stating, “The proposed rules for feral hogs do not go far enough!”
Comments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The comment period ends Feb. 15.
Find OKFB’s complete comments here. For a copy of ODAFF’s proposed rules, contact Marla Peek at email@example.com or 405-523-2437.