ODAFF Proposed Rule Puts a Target on State's Feral HogsWed, 27 Jan 2016 17:57:35 CST
The public is invited to comment on the proposed rule to eradicate feral hogs in the state of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has released their proposed rule and will hold a public hearing next month on the control of wild hogs or feral swine. Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Reece said the state has a long way to go in order to eliminate the estimated 600,000 to 1,000,000 feral hogs in Oklahoma.
Under the proposed rule, the 19 feral hog hunt facilities that are now licensed and operating would be allowed to continue to operate. The proposal also would make the current moratorium on new licenses for sports facilities permanent. That would mean no new sports facilities would be allowed to be established in the state. The state recognizes the role the private sector has in eliminating a large number of feral hogs, but Reece said the proposal will not perpetuate the industry or the hunting of feral hogs. Additionally, the state will closely monitor the transportation of feral hogs. The proposal tightens the licensing of those who can transport live feral swine and sets up a very tight window of just 24 hours for swine to be transported, once a permit is applied for and granted.
A public hearing is planned by the ODAFF on February 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm at the ODAFF Board Room in the Ag Building at 2800 North Lincoln in Oklahoma City. The public comment period on the proposed rule will end on February 15, 2016. American Farmers and Ranchers Communications Director Sam Knipp interviewed Reece about the proposal. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to hear the conversation.
In an earlier interview, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Blayne Arthur about the details of the proposed rule. Arthur said the proposal calls for a "Feral Swine Free Zone." The region identified stretches along the northern border of the state and includes eleven counties, including Grant and Garfield as its eastern boundary and moving west from those counties to the western end of the Panhandle. In addition to those two counties, other counties that are targeted for the Feral Swine Free Zone include Alfalfa, Major, Woods, Woodward, Ellis, Harper, Beaver, Texas and Cimarron counties. She explained this area has the fewest wild hogs of any part of the state and it is also where a significant part of the state's commercial swine industry is located. She said by establishing this zone that will help protect the health and wellbeing of the domesticated hogs in the region. Transportation of feral swine through or into this region will be prohibited and any current feral swine facilities licensed in the region will not have their licenses renewed once the rule becomes final.
Hays and Arthur talked in detail about the new feral swine free zone, transportation of feral swine, sports facilities and how these proposed rules stack up versus the control efforts of states in our region. You can hear their conversation by clicking here.
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