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Montana seeks to keep feral pigs from Canada at bay

(CREDIT: iStock user mauribo)

BILLINGS, Mont. — State and federal officials in Montana are marshalling their resources to keep encroaching feral pigs from Canada at bay.

The Billings Gazette reports aerial photographs from last year show a population boom in Canada has brought the feral swine to within 5 miles (8 kilometres) of the U.S. border.

That’s prompted Montana to organize a “Squeal on Pigs” campaign to prevent an invasion of feral swine that would destroy crops and even golf course and landscaping. It encourages people to report feral hog sightings to the Department of Livestock.

The program was described at a conference hosted by the Montana Invasive Species Council on Friday.

The most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate put swine damages at $1.5 billion annually, and officials say it’s likely much higher.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

The Associated Press