Who Let the Hogs Out in Southern Minnesota?
Blue Earth, MN (KDHL News) -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reporting they were recently called to round up some feral pigs found roaming in southern Minnesota late last month.
A few adults and some piglets were found east of Blue Earth in Faribault County on September 24, 2022, a day after an initial call was made about the discovery.
Conservation Officer Corey Wiebusch was dispatched to the area after the call was received late afternoon on the 23rd.
The pigs were not located on the first day but some adults and young ones were located which would suggest breeding had occurred.
The breed was a Mangalitsa, native to Hungary. The last remaining wooly pigs. Information specific to the breed states it is believed to become the best-tasting pork in the world.
The DNR said the pigs escaped from a farm with the owner not reporting their escape. They were transported to DNR Fish and Wildlife division for testing and then euthanized.
They stated an inability to determine who was the culprit.
DNR Information Officer Dan Ruiter says swine are not native to North America and otherwise pose a threat to the ecosystem.
Ruiter says, "They can create crop damage and foul water supplies if they are left unchecked. Of primary concern are diseases such as pseudorabies, brucellosis and tuberculosis."
Ruiter pointed out the person who reported seeing the pigs did the right thing because "They kept a problem from potentially becoming a much larger issue."
According to Minnesota law, it's illegal to possess, release or allow feral swine to run at large. It is a misdemeanor although a case in 2016 in Marshall County did result in a conviction for a federal swine violation. The person was fined $135.
The USDA states, feral swine are the same species as domestic farmed pigs but are descendants of escaped or released pigs that then lived in the wild.
They are sometimes known as wild boars, wild hogs, or razorbacks.
The USDA says, "No matter the name they are dangerous, destructive, invasive species."
The USDA estimates there are more than 6 million feral hogs in the United States. A majority are in southern states but they are moving northward.
Their population grows rapidly.