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LWF Supports HB288 to Prevent the Spread of Feral Hogs
UPDATE: This bill was involuntarily deferred in House Natural Resources & Environment Committee.
Preventing the spread of Feral Hogs in Louisiana
House Bill 288 prohibits the importation and release of feral hogs and regulates the transportation of feral hogs. This bill is sponsored by Representative Major Thibaut and is expected to be heard in La House Natural Resources and Environment Committee on Wednesday, May 6.
HB 288 would 1) Ban the import of any live feral hog. 2) Ban the release of a feral hog into an area where the animal can move freely to adjoining property. 3) Restrict the movement of feral hogs without a permit. 4) Authorize development of a permit process for movement of feral hogs to enclosed areas, which would be managed by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries with the regulation and permit process approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
While it is currently illegal to release a feral hog into an open area, current law does not provide for regulation on transport, which impedes enforcement on illegal releases. This bill would allow an enforcement agent to stop someone transporting a feral hog and ask for proof of a permit that designates the hog is going to an enclosed area.
HB 288 does not ban movement. Controls of movement through a permit process would be developed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. People concerned about how the permit process would be developed and what movement would be allowed will have the opportunity for comment and input to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.
Numerous studies show that transport and release is contributing to the problem of the spread of feral hogs. Other southeastern US states have restrictions on transport and release. This bill plugs a gap in Louisiana’s regulation of the feral hog population. Feral hogs cause destruction of habitat for wildlife and reduction of wildlife through predation on ground nesting alligators, mottled ducks, and turkeys. Feral hogs are causing destruction of crops and damage to levees and marsh. In Louisiana, feral hogs are designated as outlaw quadrupeds and are an invasive species. While hunting, trapping and aerial shooting are important methods of control, the current rate of removal is not enough to slow their growth. We need additional measures to monitor and control the spread of feral hogs.
You can read the bill here: https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=933991
Louisiana Wildlife Federation supports HB 288 by Representative Thibaut. You can express support for this bill to your legislator at http://lacamo.org/take-action/
House Natural Resources Committee members: http://house.louisiana.gov/H_Cmtes/NaturalResources.aspx
Article at Louisiana Sportsman website: http://www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=8097