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Feral swine meetings Thursday in Eureka and Libby

by The Western News
| September 20, 2022 7:00 AM

The discovery of a pig carcass on national forest land near Lake Koocanusa has prompted the Montana Department of Livestock, Montana Invasive Species Council, and USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services to hold public meetings about feral swine in Eureka and Libby on Thursday, Sept. 22.

The Libby meeting will be held at 1 p.m. in the Ponderosa Room at Libby City Hall.

While the carcass has not been confirmed as a feral pig, it has features often found in feral swine. The animal could also be a heritage breed of swine that looks similar.

The meetings will cover Montana laws restricting feral swine in the state, identifying signs and damage, and how to report sightings.

The Eureka meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Timbers Lodge (101 Julian Drive).

In August, the Department of Livestock received a report of a dead pig on Forest Service land west of Lake Koocanusa.

Canvassing of the area has failed to locate an owner of the animal. The investigation is ongoing, including genetic testing, but results won’t be available for several weeks and may not be successful due to the decomposed state of the carcass.

Feral swine are an invasive species that pose a serious threat to Montana’s agriculture, livestock, wildlife and landscapes.

Officials are asking the public to be on the lookout for feral swine or “wild pigs” and to report sightings to 406-444-2976.

“While feral swine are not yet in Montana, we are aware of their expanding range in Canada and the risk of introduction through natural animal movement, escape of domestic animals, or deliberate release,” said Tahnee Szymanski, Assistant State Veterinarian with the Department of Livestock, “In coordination with our partners, we are working hard to prevent feral swine introduction.”

For more information about feral swine and the “Squeal on Pigs” campaign go to squealonpigsmt.com.

For more information about these meetings contact the Montana Invasive Species Council at 406-444-0547.

The mission of the Montana Department of Livestock is to control and eradicate animal diseases, prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans, and to protect the livestock industry from theft and predatory animals.

For more information on the Montana Department of Livestock, visit liv.mt.gov.