Oklahoma Agricultural Groups Coming Together to Target State's Feral Hog PopulationWed, 09 Dec 2015 19:38:23 CST
Feral hogs have become a top concern for Oklahoma's farmers and ranchers. The problem has united the state's livestock organizations, general farm organizations and the state of Oklahoma. They are working together to develop a plan to deal with this invasive species of livestock. Oklahoma Cattlemenís Association (OCA) Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey said feral hogs have become a huge problem for Oklahoma's cattle producers. He hasn't spoke with a OCA member that hasn't been effected by the growing feral hog population.
OCA was involved with a meeting this week with other agricultural leaders and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in reviewing their latest draft of proposed rules that may be published in early 2016. Kelsey said Oklahomaís agricultural groups are in favor of controlling the feral hog population, but they are still trying to figure out the best solution. He thinks the process to develop a plan to control the stateís feral hogs remains in the very early stages.
While many Oklahomans believe something has to be done, Kelsey said one common misconception is that nothing is being done to control feral hogs today. In looking at state law, he said there is a feral hog act that makes it illegal to transport feral hogs.
Hunting is one option to control feral hogs. That solution brings additional challenges in monitoring and enforcement. Kelsey said the state needs to address hunting leases, night hunting and the transportation of feral hogs. If feral hogs are caught and transported to an area to be hunted, Kelsey said thatís when it becomes illegal.
ďThatís an illegal activity and we need to be able to prosecute that appropriately, because itís already breaking the law,Ē Kelsey said.
In developing new rules to expand efforts to control feral hogs in Oklahoma, Kelsey said itís important that the stateís agricultural sector works in a unified manner. He said itís a major problem and weíre not going to solve it unless we are working together in an organized manner.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviews Kelsey. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the interview.
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