'Timebomb' pigs released in South Westland
Source: New Zealand Herald
The Animal Health Board is concerned by reports that as many as 20 wild pigs have been released in the pig-free Paringa area of South Westland.
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Wild pigs can carry bovine tuberculosis (TB). They have the potential to infect areas in which the existing wildlife population is free of the disease. This occurs when scavenging possums and ferrets eat dumped pig heads and offal. Once possums and ferrets become infected they can pass TB to farmed cattle and deer herds.
The head is the main reservoir of TB infection in a pig. Hunters need to ensure they safely dispose of pig heads and offal by burning or burying them. This prevents scavenging animals from passing any infection to livestock.
It is illegal to release pigs into the wild. Doing so is a breach of the National Pest Management Strategy, which is enforced under the Biosecurity Act 1993.
Read the full story here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/agriculture/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=10815638