Farmer fined for feral hogs illegally imported from Texas to El Paso County – CBS Denver
SPRINGS COLORADO, Colorado (CBS4) – A team of Colorado parks and wildlife officers confiscated three feral pigs from a farm in El Paso County last year. These pigs were then tested positive for a disease potentially fatal to other farm animals and pets.
Acting on the advice of the public, the CPW team visited the small farm east of Colorado Springs on September 3, 2020. The team had been told that the owner of the house was raising feral pigs illegally imported from Texas. .
Officers found the three pigs in a small barn. They were euthanized and their carcasses seized. Blood samples were then sent to a lab for analysis.
The results of these tests showed the presence of pseudorabies, “a contagious herpes virus that causes reproductive problems, including abortions and stillbirths,” CPW said in a press release Monday. “The disease also causes respiratory problems and occasional death in breeding and finishing pigs. Besides pigs, it can spread to cattle, dogs, cats, sheep and goats.
A stock photo of feral pigs taken in 2020 (credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
“This is exactly why we have worked so hard to eliminate wild free hogs from Colorado,” said Travis Black, CPW’s regional manager for the Northwest region based in Grand Junction and expert in wild hogs. “Stray feral pigs destroy agricultural crops, wildlife habitat, and surpass native species for food. And feral pigs raised on farms pose a huge risk to other animals by spreading diseases such as pseudorabies, as in this case. “
Black was deputy director of the Southeastern region of CPW in February 2020 when the agency announced the successful removal of the species from state lands. The effort was focused on the plains of southeastern Colorado. It took 15 years and help from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the United States Forest Service.
The El Paso County owner cooperated with CPW’s investigation, said CPW, and was cited for illegally transporting and holding prohibited species. Each charge is a misdemeanor and carries a fine of $ 137 per animal.
CPW is working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to trace pigs to their herd of origin in Texas to stop the spread of infected pigs .