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Feral pigs might not be as potentially dangerous as many wild animals you could encounter, but they’re certainly doing a number on farms, parks, and the environment in general in many southern states like Alabama. According to the Southeast agricultural news source Southeast Farm Press, they have caused such a commotion recently that the federal government has initiated a special program to provide funding for farmers in the state to help combat the problem.
“Although we have a somewhat fair guess of the damage that wild pigs cause to agriculture, about $1.5 billion per year, I suspect their impact to natural ecosystems and the environment [is] likely double or triple that figure,” said Dr. Mark Smith, Extension specialist and associate professor in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University.
In an effort to help farmers monitor and manage this feral swine infestation, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist, Ben Malone, recently announced that $100,000 is being made available for Alabama’s Wild Pig Damage Management Program under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Farmers across the state can apply for a piece of this funding, but with such a relatively small amount to be divvied, there’s a good chance not everyone will get the support they need. That’s where gas grills, which 80% of households own, and a little elbow grease can come into play.
Chris Sherrill, a chef who contributes to the Pensacola News Journal, recently outlined the benefits of a successful wild-pig roast, as well as a recipe and general techniques.
“There is terrible misconception that wild pigs are inedible,” Sherrill wrote. “I love wild pigs. It is as close to true pork as you can find. It is plentiful. Wild pigs are leaner than their mass-bred, grocery store brethren. If you like true ‘free range,’ then there is not a better option than consuming wild pig.”
Check out the full article for a delicious-sounding Spicy Honey-Soy Wild Boar Chops recipe — and think about doing your part to help reduce the feral pig population through tasty means.