Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Feral Pigs

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:47): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries a question regarding feral pig culling.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: In August, the Limestone Coast Landscape Board recorded three outbreaks of feral pigs over the last 18 months, with the board saying that more than 80 feral pigs culled in the state's South-East were likely released illegally by members of the community. The outbreaks were geographically isolated from one another, and whilst the first two only involved 10 and two pigs respectively, the third has resulted in more than 70 being killed by trapping and aerial shooting. The board's manager of landscape operations, Mr Mike Stevens, said:

They're deliberately and illegally released across the region to establish them for personal use or for whatever reason.

One assumes that means for hunting. Feral pigs have a financial impact right across our nation to the tune of millions of dollars, as well as causing significant environmental impacts. They are incredibly destructive, not to mention dangerous. The fine for illegally releasing feral pigs is $125,000 or two years' imprisonment. My questions to the minister are:

1. What information can she provide to the council with regard to these feral pig releases or outbreaks?

2. What steps is the department taking to investigate this and bring those who have done this action to justice?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:48): I thank the honourable member for her question and her interest in this matter. While we have had great success in terms of eradication of feral pigs on Kangaroo Island, due to the nature of an island, it is of course far more difficult on mainland South Australia. There are, I am advised, between about 1,000 and 2,000 feral pigs on mainland South Australia. Most are found in the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board region, followed by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board region.

In terms of the specifics of the question, feral pigs are declared for destruction under the Landscape (South Australia) Act 2019, and under that act it is illegal to possess, move, sell or release feral pigs without a permit. Sightings of feral pigs or any indication of their presence must be reported to the regional landscape board or the chief executive of the Department for Environment and Water or their delegate. I am happy to refer the specifics in terms of prosecutions or similar that were outlined in the member's question to the Minister for Environment and Water in the other place and bring back a response.