Pennies for pigs, bucks for boars

Terrain’s Integrated Feral Pig Programme (IFPP) brings together industry, local government and Landholders to combat feral pigs in Tully and Innisfail. Terrain has facilitated negotiations of financial contributions from each of these partners over the life of the project.  The project works by pooling individual contributions from landholders and uses these contributions to lever matching funding from Local Government, State Agencies and the Federal Government.

Feral Pigs are listed as a Class 2 pest, which means that it is the responsibility of the whole community including local government as well as landholders to take responsibility for the management of these pest animals.

Feral pigs cause millions of dollars worth of damage to crops every year

Feral pigs do not respect property boundaries and in many cases effective management is beyond the capacity of individual landholders. The IFPP is a service, which Terrain provides to help the community administer their responsibility. The financial contributions from project partners promote ownership and sharing of responsibility of feral pig management across the project area. In fact, without these funding contributions the programme would not be able to operate at all and the task of feral pig control would fall on the individual alone.

The extent of the contribution differs between industry groups and landholders and these differences are often based on property size within the programme area and also reflect the scale of feral pig damage to that property. For instance, according to the Pest Data Management Survey conducted by BSES, it costs an estimated $35 per tonne of sugar cane lost due to damage from feral pigs and there are approximately 75 tonnes of sugar cane grown per hectare. In 2010 it was estimated that 600 hectares were lost in the South Johnstone Mill area, which adds up to over $1million in damage. Similarly in the banana industry, it costs an estimated $2.50 in establishment costs per banana tree that is destroyed due to pigs, with up to 1400 banana trees planted per hectare and 50% of many banana plantations being destroyed due to feral pigs.

The end result is that the costs of pig damage are far greater than the cost of contributing to the IFPP and with all parts of the community contributing to the programme the responsibility of feral pig management is owned and results are expected.