Edmonton

Alberta extends wild boar eradication program

Alberta has extended its bounty program aiming to control the province’s wild boar population.
An Alberta program designed to control the province's wild boar population will be extended through to 2017. (University of Saskatchewan)

Alberta has extended its bounty program aiming to control the province’s wild boar population.

About half of the province’s municipalities participate in the program, which sees $50 handed out to hunters for every pair of boar ears turned in.

Wild boars were brought to the province in the late 1990s from Europe for breeding and game farming. In the past decade, several counties in Alberta have reported problems with boars that have escaped from farms or ranches and begun destroying crops.

Mike Long with the Ministry of Agriculture said when it comes to controlling the wild boar population, every little bit helps.

“If there’s an area where there’s a number of boars … they can cause significant damage, whether it be crops or machinery or destroying fences or things like that,” Long said.

“Also, they do carry disease and can alter the ecosystem quite significantly,” he added.

“A small number of animals can do a lot of damage significantly more than $50, so the bounty program is done as an incentive to take the appropriate action.”

At least $45,000 has been paid out since the population control program was first introduced in 2003, although it was not launched formally until 2008.

To date, just over 800 boars have been killed by landowners, farmers and hunters across the province.

The program will now be up for review in 2017.

With files from CBC's Andrea Huncar

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