Canadian 'Super Pigs' Threaten to Cross into Northern US

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • An expanding population of feral "super pigs" across Canada's Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba provinces are now threatening to cross into northern US states like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana. These "super pigs" are often crossbreeds between Eurasian boars and domestic swine, resulting in bigger and more fertile and durable animals.

  • Pigs, which aren't native to North America, have inhabited Canada since the 1980s when they were cross-bred by farmers. Many of them were let loose when the market collapsed in 2001. They then adapted to the cold weather, tearing up land and spreading diseases to hog farms.

The Spin

Narrative A

Unfortunately, eradication isn't possible, given that these super pigs have been breeding and roaming free for 20 years. The US and Canada must limit their presence by focusing on the root cause of the issue: uncontained reproduction. Rather than slaughtering these animals, there should be an effort to implement birth control measures and, more importantly, recognition that this is a self-inflicted problem that calls attention to the problematic practice of cross-breeding.

Narrative B

It's true that there's no magic solution to completely eradicate wild hogs, but since about half of these feral swine make their way to Texas, authorities should ramp up the poisoning tactic that's shown the potential to be very successful in the state. If landowners can program them to eat from a hog-specific feeder and use non-toxic bait during the weeks leading up to the lethal bait, they can eventually start killing these pigs effectively.

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