USDA launches $75m feral swine fund

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

USDA launches $75m feral swine fund

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In an effort to tackle feral swine, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to offer US$75m of funding for projects in this field.

Run as joint effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) as part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP).

Applications are being accepted through 19 August 2019, for partners to carry out activities as part of these pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. APHIS has determined that these states have among the highest feral swine population densities and associated damages in the country.

Pilot projects are expected to consist of three coordinated components: 1) feral swine removal by APHIS; 2) restoration efforts supported by NRCS; and 3) assistance to producers for feral swine control, provided through partnership agreements with non-federal partners. Projects can be one to three years in duration.

“NRCS state conservationists and APHIS state directors, in coordination with state technical committees, have identified pilot projects that can be carried out within these target states,”​ NRCS chief Matthew Lohr said. “Our agencies stand ready to work with partners at state and local levels to respond to the threat of feral swine.”

“The projects selected for funding will allow APHIS and NRCS to collectively reduce the damage and disease caused by one of the most destructive and formidable invasive species in the United States,”​ said APHIS administrator Kevin Shea. “Overall, this pilot program builds upon and expands work already underway by APHIS’ National Feral Swine Damage Management Program to both manage feral swine and eliminate populations in partnership with local government, the private sector, industry and academia.”

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