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Virginia Invasive Species

feral swine

Feral Swine

What is it?

Feral swine are domestic pigs that escaped or were released into the wild. Feral swine are the same species as domestic pigs, Sus scrofa. Feral-born individuals grow hair and tusks, and thus have a different appearance than domestic pigs. 

What is the harm?

Feral hogs damage crops, pastures, and timber resources when they forage in them. They also damage wetland habitat through foraging and wallowing. Feral hogs can transmit 30 diseases and 40 parasites that can infect people, pets, livestock and wildlife. They can contaminate water used for irrigating food. 

Where is it from?

Europe. 

How did it get here? 

Early European settlers brought pigs to the New World as early as the 16th-century. 

Where is it now?

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) estimate there are over 6 million feral swine found across 35 states.

feral swine distribution map 2015

How can I learn more?

Visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Feral Hogs page >>.

 USDA-APHIS feral swine web pages >>