Wild boar can now be hunted without a licence

Hunters in Saskatchewan can now kill wild boar without a licence.

Province says the feral pigs are a nuisance throughout southern Saskatchewan

Wild Boars were introduced to western provinces in the late 1980's and early 1990's, but have since become an invasive species, spreading disease and destroying native wildlife and vegetation. (Bart Jekel/Flickr)

Hunters in Saskatchewan can now kill wild boar without a licence.

The government recently amended its wildlife and stray animals regulations to make it easier to hunt boar, which have become a nuisance to farmers in more than 60 rural municipalities in the southern half of the province.

Since Friday, hunters have had the right to kill wild boar without a licence. However,they still have to follow other rules, including asking for permission to be on private land and not hunting along roads.

The animals are a non-native species that were brought in from Europe in the 1970s. Some escaped from captivity and reproduced in the wild, creating a problem that has persisted to this day.

According to the province, free-ranging wild boar populations have damaged golf courses and crops, harassed livestock, threatened people and destroyed fragile plant communities.

There are also concerns they can transfer diseases to domestic hogs.

The governments says the new regulations will address concerns about public safety and protection of wildlife and habitat.

Experts say wild boars are highly fertile and can reproduce two to three times a year, with an average of six piglets per litter. (CBC)