©Stetson.edu.The feral pig has a huge impact on the Australian environment. It is considered one of Australiaís worst pests.
They cause Soil Erosion and Land Degradation, Losses to Primary Production, Endangerment and Possible Extinction of Native Plants and Animals, and Disease that spreads to Cattle and Sheep and Native Animals.
Feral Pigs have a severe effect on agriculture in Australia. They cost the sheep industry millions of dollars each year by killing 40% of lambs born in areas where feral pig populations occur, they damage fencing which could lead to the establishment of feral sheep or feral cattle, or worsen the problem by damaging rabbit-proof, cat-proof, goat-proof or fox-proof fencing.
One of the more severe problems that the Feral Pig causes is mud wallowing. This is when they wallow around swamps and waterways. They uproot aquatic plants and muddy up the water. They do this to keep cool in warmer weather, except this behaviour destroys the native plants and causes Soil Erosion and Land Degradation. This also leaves native plants unable to grow back and the animals that were living in the now destroyed environment would die as there isnít adequate shelter or food.
Pigs will eat animals and plants, in particular small
mammals, frogs, ground-nesting birds, lizards and eggs.
Disease that spreads to Cattle and Sheep and Native Animals
If a disease is accidentally released in Australia, the feral pig would be a prime carrier. If the fatal Foot and Mouth disease was released in Australia it would have a devastating effect on the Australian economy. It is estimated that it would cost more than $3 billion AUD in lost exports. The pig is a potential carrier.
There is already a disease in
Queensland called Leptospirosis.
It is found in 20% of the pig population in Queensland and is
fatal to humans and livestock. It is a bacterial disease that is
transmitted to humans by blood, urine or contact with raw meat
from the animal to the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin.