La getting $300,000 to fight feral swine _lowres

Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- Feral hogs on the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

The National Feral Swine Management Program is giving Louisiana $300,000 to help reduce the animals’ damage to farms, wetlands and other areas.

Word of the allocation came from U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu. She says reducing the feral pig population is crucial to Louisiana’s wetlands.

State wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour told the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission last week that feral swine damage wildlife, native plants and agriculture, and carry several dangerous diseases. He says there are about 500,000 in Louisiana, and they multiply rapidly.

Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman Bo Boehringer says the department knew the program would be providing money, and welcomes the announcement. He says people have been discussing control programs, but there’s no decision yet on how the department will use the funds.