SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - State agriculture officials are asking Illinois hunters to be on the lookout for feral swine.
Feral swine, also known as feral hogs and wild pigs, are defined as free-ranging animals that are not under domestic livestock confinement.
Officials say they are an invasive animal competing with native wildlife for food resources and damage the soil erosion and damaging crops, plants and water quality. They carry at least 30 diseases that pose serious implications for people, pets, wildlife and livestock.
"We are encouraging Illinois hunters, especially the thousands of Illinois firearm deer hunters who will be in the field in coming weeks, to be on the lookout for feral swine and report any sightings to us," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller. "The dangers of disease, costly damage to the land, and negative impacts to wildlife from the further spread of feral swine in Illinois are significant."
Hunters, landowners and others who see feral swine in Illinois are asked to report the sightings to the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources at 217-785-2511.
Officials say hunters in the field who see feral swine and possess a valid Illinois FOID card can, with the permission of the landowner legally shoot the wild hogs.