South Peace News
Big Lakes County has introduced tight rules to control wild boars within its borders.
At its regular meeting April 12, council gave all three readings to adopt a wild boar bylaw.
“Passing a bylaw would ensure that no new wild boar farms are established in the county,” say Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
“This bylaw is a proactive approach to try to limit the future problem of wild boars running at-large throughout the county.”
He says the problem is not just a Big Lakes issue.
“The rationale this bylaw was proposed by the Agricultural Service Board was due to concerns arising province wide about wild boars becoming a problem down south and problems starting to arise up north about more wild boar sightings,” Hawken says.
Any person who keeps a wild boar, either on a temporary or permanent basis, on any property in the county or cause them to run at large in the county faces a $10,000.
However, the fine does not affect those who had wild boars before the bylaw takes effect.
Any prohibited wild boar in the county must be euthanized or removed from the county within seven days of receiving an order from the bylaw enforcement officer. Cost of that is the sole responsibility of the owner.
Administration drafted a bylaw that was delivered to the Agricultural Advisory committee on April 14, 2022, Hawken says.
Prior to that, the committee approved a recommendation at its meeting Feb. 10, 2022 to council to draft a wild boar bylaw.
However, at the meeting in April 2022, the committee suggested that the county consult with the county’s remaining wild boar operation that has about 300 animals.
Hawken says the bylaw prohibits the operation from adding wild boars.
Owners or operators of such parcels may apply for a wild boar permit, the bylaw states.
The committee also suggest the county check with the Government of Alberta which is responsible for inspecting and enforcing a provincial minimum containment standard.
Provincial officers inspectors the sole property on Dec. 7, 2022, he says.
“The inspection report stated that minimum containment standards were being well met,” Hawken says.
After review of the April 14, 2022 bylaw, the agricultural fieldman revised the proposed bylaw as presented to council April 12, 2023.
“Passing the bylaw would ensure that no new wild boar farms are established in the county,” Hawken says.
“Additionally, the ‘grandfathering’ clauses for any existing operations are quite restrictive to ensure the area expansion of the remaining operation will be constrained but still allowed to operate.
“This will ensure that wild boar presence at-large is severely constrained in the county to limit the ecological degradation, livestock biosecurity concerns and human safety concerns associated with wild boar at-large.”
Under the bylaw, no movement of the herd to a new parcel of land nor additions of land to the permit is allowed.