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USDA to gather data on feral swine damage

RALEIGH — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting a Feral Swine Livestock Damage survey to measure the costs of feral swine damage to livestock operations. The survey is conducted in cooperation with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – Wildlife Services. Operators who have received this survey should complete it by Aug. 5.

“Completing your survey will help us understand the impact that feral swine or wild hogs have on livestock operations across the country,” said Dee Webb, director of the NASS NC Field Office. “The data that farm operators provide through this survey help provide a foundation for feral swine research.”

Over 18,000 farms and ranches are being surveyed in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

To protect the health of producers, partners, and employees, NASS has suspended in-person interviews. Survey respondents are asked to complete their questionnaire online at agcounts.usda.gov or return it by mail. Alternatively, trained enumerators will follow-up with producers to collect the data by phone.

The USDA APHIS National Wildlife Research Center states that feral swine exist in at least 35 states, and the nationwide population is estimated at approximately 5 million animals. Feral swine damage pastures, agricultural crops, lawns, landscaping, and natural areas, due to feeding, rooting, wallowing, grazing, and trampling activities. Feral swine are reservoirs of many diseases and act as a host to parasites that can negatively impact agricultural animals, especially domesticated swine.

APHIS will analyze these data as a baseline for future studies and any published information will be made available to the public through the APHIS Feral Swine Resources website: aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/feral-swine/feral-swine-resources.

The information provided by producers will be used for statistical purposes only. In accordance with federal law, survey responses will be kept confidential and will not be disclosed in identifiable form.

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS NC Field Office at (919)707–3333.