Feral Hog Bill to Ease Hunting Restrictions of Wild Hogs Passes House- Returns to Senate for Consideration of AmendmentsFri, 22 Apr 2016 05:34:58 CDT
Legislation approved Thursday afternoon by the Oklahoma House of Representatives will help Oklahomans reduce the number of feral hogs in Oklahoma. The measure would allow the hunting of feral hogs day or night on private land by the landowner or by someone he has given permission to.
State representative Sean Roberts is the bill sponsor in the House for Senate Bill 1142.
The Samuel Roberts Noble Research Foundation has estimated the feral hog population in Oklahoma to be as high as 1.6 million, with hogs verified in all 77 counties. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture has reported that feral hogs can carry up to 30 different diseases.
“The rapidly growing feral hog population threatens the safety and property of Oklahomans all over the state,” said Roberts, R-Hominy. “I am pleased that my colleagues have supported this effort to remove a barrier to their elimination.”
The legislation was approved by a vote of 67-13 and now returns to the Senate for consideration of amendments.
After the vote, both the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the Oklahoma Pork Council praised the legislation.
The President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Tom Buchanan, offered the following statement in support of Cb 1142. "Oklahoma Farm Bureau today is thankful for the leadership of Rep. Sean Roberts and the Oklahoma House of Representatives in passing SB 1142. By eliminating restrictions on the hunting and removal of feral hogs, the legislation allows Oklahoma to move one step closer toward eradicating the invasive species.
“Located in all 77 Oklahoma counties, feral hogs wreak havoc on Oklahoma’s farms, ranches and ecosystems, and cost farmers, ranchers and landowners an estimated $1.5 billion each year. To control the population, 70 percent of the invasive species must be killed each year.
“We, at Oklahoma Farm Bureau, continually have been calling for the complete eradication of feral hogs. While we understand this bill will not lead to the complete eradication of feral hogs, we support any step toward removing the nuisance animal from our state."
The Executive Director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, Roy Lee Lindsay, also called this proposal a positive step forward: "Feral swine are an invasive species that destroy property and pose a significant health risk to Oklahoma's domestic swine herd.
"The Oklahoma Pork Council supports legislation that removes barriers to and promotes the eradication of feral swine. SB1142, as amended, should do just that. "
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