BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension will host a feral swine education tour March 5-8 in northeast Montana, with seven stops held for landowners, farmers, ranchers and anyone else interested in attending. Registration is not required, and there is no cost to attend.

Feral swine, also referred to as wild pigs, can cause significant landscape and agricultural damage, according to Jared Beaver, MSU Extension wildlife specialist. While feral swine are not currently present in Montana, the risk of feral swine is a serious concern, he added.

“Wild pigs are not native to the United States and are a highly effective invasive species,” said Beaver. “They have been declared one of the biggest threats to terrestrial biodiversity in the world and are expanding across the United States and Canada.”

According to Beaver, the ecological and economic impacts of feral swine could be significant in Montana if they were to establish a population. He regularly emphasizes the threat when working with Montana landowners.

“They can live just about anywhere, eat just about anything and are prolific breeders,” said Beaver. “Wild pigs have few natural predators and are intelligent, mobile animals that are highly pressure sensitive. They are extremely difficult to control and eradicate once established.”

MSU Extension agents will host the tour stops and provide continuing education and resources to local communities. Representatives from the Montana Department of Livestock and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will also present information.

“This program is working to inform producers and the public on what these impacts are and how best to respond and manage wild pigs,” said Marley Voll, MSU Extension Richland County agent. “Montanans should be prepared before wild pigs enter the state.”

Tour stops will be held as follows:

Tuesday, March 5:

  • Havre, 10 a.m. 4-H Chuckwagon, 1676 U.S. Highway 2 W.
  • Chinook, 3 p.m. Chinook Senior Center, 324 Pennsylvania St.

Wednesday, March 6:

  • Malta, 9 a.m. Phillips County Library, 10 S. Fourth St. E.
  • Fort Peck, 3 p.m. Fort Peck Interpretive Center, 157 Yellowstone Road.

Thursday, March 7:

  • Scobey, 10 a.m. Ambulance Room, 106 Railroad Ave.
  • Plentywood, 2 p.m. Cousin’s Family Restaurant, 118 S. Main St.

Friday, March 8:

  • Sidney, 10 a.m. Richland County Event Center, 2118 W. Holly St.

Montana residents can report suspected sightings of feral swine to the Montana Department of Livestock at 406-444-2976.

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