Hogs are problem at Country Club

Published 1:28 am Saturday, October 3, 2015


APD seeks outside help for animal control

Complaints of feral hogs roaming neighborhoods in the Andalusia Country Club area have prompted the Andalusia Police Department to take action.

“We don’t have the equipment to get them out of there,” said Police Chief Paul Hudson, who also oversees animal control. “But we have a person who does this as a hobby/job. He’s going to go over there and set some traps and see if he can catch them.”

It is illegal to trap and release the hogs in Alabama. The offense recently has increased from a class C to a class B misdemeanor, which carries a mandatory fine of $2,500 and possible jail time of up to 180 days. There is no season, so hunters can legally kill them any time of the year.

Even in the city limits, Hudson said.

“If they’re a danger to you, you can shoot them (in the city limits),” Hudson said.

Recently, maintenance crews killed at least two wild hogs on the golf course of the country club. And in the past week or two, residents of Cedar Drive and Rosewood Lane have seen hogs roaming. Many who haven’t actually seen the hogs have seen evidence they’ve been there.

“They’re tearing up my yard,” Ron Jacobs said.

Jacobs said he first saw a sow and a litter of pigs in the front yard about a year ago. Two weeks ago, he saw evidence that they were back, and this past weekend, actually saw them again.

C.J. Agro lives at the intersection of Cedar and Rosewood. Hers is among the yards that have been damaged by the wild boars. Mrs. Agro said she had a hunter come out and check, and tracks indicated there was at least one saw and a couple of young pigs foraging in her newly-sodded lawn.

“We’ve talked to folks in the neighborhood and are working to solve the problem,” Hudson said.

According to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, feral swine breed year round with peaks in the breeding cycle during fall and spring. Females are sexually mature at six months, but typically begin breeding at one year of age. Gestation lasts 115 days with an average of two litters per year. Litter size ranges from four to 14.

Chris Jaworowski, a wildlife biologist with ADCNF wrote recently that the wild hogs are capable of doubling or tripling their population in a year, and are considered a threat to native wildlife because they compete for food and destroy the habitat.

The problem is significant enough in Alabama that the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service earlier this year announced that agriculture producers in 16 Alabama counties could qualify for a share of $100,000 available through Alabama’s Wild Pig Damage Management Program. The 16 counties identified were Autauga, Baldwin, Coffee, Colbert, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Fayette, Geneva, Henry, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Mobile and Pickens.