The State Board of Agriculture on Tuesday approved proposed regulations pertaining to Feral Swine.

The measure was approved by a 5-0 vote of the board during the regular March board meeting at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), 2800 N Lincoln Blvd.

The purpose of these rules is to implement the provisions of the Feral Swine Control Act and to adopt aggressive measures for the eradication of all feral swine in the State of Oklahoma. Feral swine are a non-native invasive species to Oklahoma that detrimentally impact agricultural production and natural resources in Oklahoma. As feral swine populations increase, citizens of Oklahoma suffer damage to crops, livestock and wildlife habitat. Feral swine pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals and native wildlife. The Department's goal is to render the State of Oklahoma free of feral swine. The Department shall investigate and implement new population control methods, technologies, and toxicants as they become available to achieve this goal.

The approved rules will now go to the state Legislature and Governor for review and approval.

If approved by the Legislature and Governor, these rules will become effective in mid-September.

Feral Swine Rule Summary

1. States purpose and goal. As new methods for eradication become available, no effort will be made to preserve feral swine or the accompanying industry. The Department's goal is to render the State of Oklahoma free of feral swine. The Department shall investigate and implement new population control methods, technologies, and toxicants as they become available to achieve this goal.

2. Creates a moratorium on licensing of new feral swine hunting facilities. The previous moratorium beginning January 27, 2015 was Board order with an expiration date.

3. Creates a tracking system for transporters of feral hogs. Adds a $25 annual transport license for feral hog transporters. Previous license was free and lasted 5 years. There was a five year lag of who is really active in transportation and if someone was caught illegally transporting a phone call and a free license was the remedy.

4. Creates a 24 hour transport permit. If hauling a feral hog you must have a specific permit for each load identifying how many and where they are going. Currently, there is no enforcement tool for law enforcement to easily identify those who are illegally transporting swine. Our intent is to make these permits accessible by a smart phone app. Transporters can click their location, number of hogs, delivery point, and receive the permit number. This 24 hour permit is free and is only for tracking purposes and to give law enforcement personnel the ability to easily determine if the transporter is legally transporting the feral swine.

5. Requires feral swine hunting facilities to keep records on the number of feral swine entering and exiting the facilities and send them in monthly. This will validate and keep accurate information that is only estimated currently.

6. Creates a Feral Swine Free Zone – Prohibits feral swine facilities in the zone, prohibits any transport of feral swine into the Zone.

7. Adds a $25 Captive hog hunter fee – Feral Hog Hunt Facilities will charge and remit a $25 captive hunt fee to ODAFF that will be used for enforcement purposes.

Funds raised with the fees in these rules will be used:

• To create the smartphone app and software compatibility to institute the 24 hour transport permit

• To purchase hog traps for Oklahoma Conservation Districts to rent to landowners and to train landowners and districts how to trap hogs effectively.

• To set up a 24 hour hotline for illegal feral swine transportation or release complaints

• To investigate more effectively illegal transportation of feral swine.

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