Interagency effort to eliminate feral hogs on Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

Interagency effort to eliminate feral hogs on Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

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Russellville, Ark. – February 23, 2024 —Ozark-St. Francis National Forests will soon be partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services (APHIS) to conduct aerial operations aimed at reducing feral hog populations in the forest.

The eradication work will be conducted utilizing APHIS crews and equipment and will take place this spring in the St. Francis National Forest in eastern Arkansas. The efforts will be focused on remote areas of national forest land.

Feral swine present great risks to human health and safety. They can harbor and transmit dozens of parasites and diseases—such as pseudorabies, which is fatal to cats and dogs and a threat to domestic swine—as well as foodborne illnesses like E. coli, toxoplasmosis, and trichinosis. Feral swine also destroy natural resources and compete with native wildlife.

The US Forest Service is committed to working with APHIS and other partners to eliminate the growing population of feral swine and to ease the damage that the destructive animals cause to public and private lands. They cause tremendous devastation—up to $2.5 billion annually—to local wildlife and vegetation.

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“This unified interagency effort is critical to eliminating feral hogs on and around the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests,” said Matt Anderson, Forest Biologist for the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests. “We look forward to working with our partners to help rid the national forest landscape of this dangerous and destructive pest.”

For more information about USDA efforts to curtail feral swine impacts across the nation, visit:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/operational-activities/feral-swine

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