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Ohio House Passes Legislation Prohibiting the Import of Feral Swine into the State

June 13, 2024
Don Jones News

COLUMBUS- The Ohio House yesterday passed House Bill 503, legislation that prohibits the import of feral swine into Ohio, stops the hunting of feral swine, and puts an end to the risky practice of garbage feeding of swine. The legislation is sponsored by State Reps. Bob Peterson (R-Sabina) and Don Jones (R-Freeport).

House Bill 503 allows landowners to kill a feral hog without a license, but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources must be notified within 24 hours. The rules for the preservation and disposal of the corpse must be followed. The legislation also requires ODNR to be notified within the same period if a feral hog is spotted and prohibits importing, transporting, or possessing live wild boar or feral swine.

“These nuisances are known carriers of diseases that are dangerous to both humans and livestock, such as African Swine Fever,” said Peterson, “If African Swine Fever was contracted into our commercial pig population, it would cost Ohio around $2.5 billion.”

The legislation also addresses garbage feeding hogs, which can attract and sustain a feral hog population. The bill eliminates an existing license to feed swine garbage or treated garbage and prohibits bringing swine into the state who have been garbage fed. If the Department of Agriculture receives a tip that swine is being fed garbage, they have a right to investigate it. 

“The potential for these non-native, disease-spreading nuisances to harm our farmer’s livelihoods is extremely concerning,” said Jones. “We must act now to protect Ohio’s land, crops, soil, and water.”

Each violation involving the hogs will carry a penalty of a 1st-degree misdemeanor with the exclusion of, importing, transporting, or possessing of feral swine, which carries a 5th-degree felony. The Department of Agriculture is also granted the right to assess a civil penalty of $500 for feeding swine garbage with a maximum penalty of $1,000 for subsequent violations.

House Bill 503 awaits further consideration from the Ohio Senate.