ALBANY — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced the proposal of new regulations that would prohibit hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York state. The proposal is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts. Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until Jan. 25, 2014.
“Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, private property and public safety, wherever they occur,” Martens said.
“It’s important that we do all in our power to ensure that this invasive species does not become established in the wild, anywhere in New York state.”
Gov. Cuomo signed legislation on Oct. 21, which immediately prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars. Furthermore, the law prohibits possession, sale, transport or marketing of live Eurasian boars as of Sept. 1, 2015.
However, there are already small numbers of Eurasian boars on the landscape in New York. Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties, across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed, in recent years. DEC is working with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to remove any Eurasian boars that are reported in New York, and to date, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed.
Hunters pursuing wild boars in locations where baited traps have been established by DEC or USDA can also undermine these capture efforts.
According to Martens, shooting may remove one or two animals, but the remaining sounder may scatter, thereby hampering eradication efforts. In addition to prohibiting take of free-ranging swine by hunters, the proposed regulation would prohibit anyone from disturbing traps set for wild boars or otherwise interfering with Eurasian boar eradication activities. Hunting wild boar can be done at hunting preserves until 2015.
The proposed regulations provide exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies and others who are authorized by DEC to take Eurasian boar to alleviate nuisance, property damage or threats to public health or welfare.
Martens encouraged anyone who observes a Eurasian boar in the wild in New York to report it, as soon as possible, to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Feral Swine” in the subject line. Martens requested that photos be included, if possible.
Text of the proposed regulation was published in the New York State Register on Dec. 11. The full text of the regulation changes and instructions for submitting comments can be found on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html.
Comments on the proposed regulations can be sent by email to WildlifeRegs@gw.dec.state.ny.us
or mailed to Kelly Stang, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y., 12233-4754.
Hard copies of the full text may also be requested, from the same address.