Additional funds aid efforts of feral hog removal from Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, AR — The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has announced additional funding has been made available to assist with feral hog eradication efforts in Arkansas.

Senator John Boozman helped secure $650,000 in federal funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture to implement additional eradication efforts across the state.

Additionally, the Buffalo River Conservation Committee (BRCC) allocated $74,960 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services (USDA Wildlife Services) to expand eradication efforts within the Buffalo River watershed.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture plans to use the federal funds to work with USDA Wildlife Services to implement a statewide feral hog management plan.

These efforts will supplement ongoing removal activities, including eradication efforts in 12 Arkansas counties funded through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program.

USDA Wildlife Services will use the funding from the BRCC to purchase additional traps and other equipment to expand trapping efforts within the Buffalo River watershed.

Approximately 30,000 feral hogs have been removed from the state by members of the Feral Hog Eradication Task Force (Task Force) since January 2020.

The Task Force was created by the Arkansas legislature in 2017 to create a plan for the eradication of feral hogs in Arkansas and is made up of 21 federal and state agencies and non-government organizations. More information on the Task Force can be found at bit.ly/FeralHogETF.

Feral hogs are an invasive species that are especially destructive to agricultural crops, native wildlife, and young domestic livestock. In Arkansas, the latest survey by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that feral swine cause at least $41 million in agricultural damages every year, including $34 million in damages to soybeans, corn, cotton, wheat, hay, pecans, and rice, and $7.3 million in damages to livestock.

Landowners experiencing feral hog damage are encouraged to call USDA Wildlife Services at (501) 835-2318 for assistance.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit agriculture.arkansas.gov to learn more.

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