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Kawartha Lakes taking action to protect city from feral pigs

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is taking action to protect the municipality from feral pigs.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting, on Tuesday, January 11th, councillors voted to have city staff “initiate public education on the environmental damage and risks of allowing an invasive feral pig population to be established in Kawartha Lakes, [including] the need for public reporting of all sightings,” as well as actively monitoring “sightings of feral pigs reported in the provincial database from within Kawartha Lakes.” The approved motion also called for staff to create a report later this year regarding “a recommended program to deal with feral pigs in Kawartha Lakes.”

As it was a Committee of the Whole meeting, the motion still needs to be ratified at a council meeting later this month.

In 2021, Pickering had to deal with an invasion of over a dozen wild boars.

“This item did come before the Agriculture Development Advisory Committee at their December meeting. It’s an issue of an invasive species, basically,” Economic Development Officer Kelly Maloney told councillors. “It is anticipated, if an awareness, education and control program is not established here, it could become an issue in Ontario.”

Ms. Maloney also stressed the need for all partners, such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and municipalities, to work together on this issue.

“It’s not something [which] can be undertaken by one jurisdiction on their own,” she said.

Ward 5 Councillor Pat Dunn questioned if the municipality should ask the province to start an open season for hunting these animals. “Because of the challenges with hunting, and the potential complications [which] could arise, the province has actually banned [the] hunting of pigs in Ontario, [which started] on January 1st, 2022,” Ms. Maloney responded.

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