It is now legal for licensed hunters to harvest feral pigs anywhere in the province, under a new regulatory amendment designating the animal as "Schedule C" wildlife.
Feral pigs can cause significant damage to local ecosystems by competing with local wildlife for forage, damaging crops, uprooting native vegetation and eating the eggs of ground nesting birds. They can also be the source of infectious diseases and parasites which can be harmful to wildlife, livestock and human health.
Designating feral pigs as Schedule C under the Wildlife Act's Designation and Exemption Regulation will assist in reducing their numbers and also provide hunters an opportunity to harvest them that was not previously available. Feral pigs can be aggressive, and may pose a threat to the public or a hunter if they are wounded. Accordingly, the regulation requires anyone harvesting a feral pig to possess a valid hunting licence, to ensure only trained and certified hunters harvest feral pigs.
Feral pigs are invasive animals that have escaped farm environments and established themselves in the wild. Escaped swine have been reported in the Lower Mainland, Kamloops, Okanagan, Peace and Kootenay Regions. While there are not many feral pigs in British Columbia, this is a proactive measure since once established feral pigs are extremely hard to eradicate.
The regulatory amendment also designates European wall lizards and non-native turtles as Schedule C invasive species, removing the requirement to obtain a permit before trapping or killing these invasive species.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations