Glick gets tough on pigs with tusks

BY CLARISSA-JAN LIM  |  Assemblymember Deborah Glick’s bill prohibiting feral pigs in New York State has been passed in the state Senate.

Glick, who represents the 66th Assembly District in Lower Manhattan, sponsored the legislation that will see the possession, sale, trade and transportation of feral pigs banned in New York.

Known also as the Eurasian boar, feral pigs are bred in hunting preserves and are considered trophy animals. The boars that escape the preserves, however, pose a threat to native plants and wildlife, livestock, agriculture and public health, according to Glick.

The boars are a destructive, nonnative species, and can grow to be more than 400 pounds. Theresa Swidorski, Glick’s state legislative director, said that sightings of these feral pigs around reservoirs have caused distress among residents and farmers alike.

Besides the obvious safety issues, “the contamination of their feces is also a concern,” said Swidorski. The boars also can carry and transmit a variety of diseases, such as swine brucellosis, E. coli, trichinosis and pseudorabies, to both livestock and humans.

She also said that there have been complaints of the boars damaging farmers’ crops and even preying on domestic livestock.

“This environmental and public health concern has been growing,” said Assemblymember Glick. “I am thrilled that my efforts to sound the alarm have resulted in passage of this critical legislation.”

Glick has been an ardent sponsor of legislation involving house pets and wildlife. The bill awaits Governor Cuomo’s signature.