Missouri Governor Mike Parson recently signed priority feral hog legislation, an initiative of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Tim Taylor, toughens penalties for knowingly or recklessly releasing feral swine into the wild. The signed provision, originally sponsored by Sen. Lincoln Hough and Rep. Don Rone, could result in hefty fines for violators and a second guilty conviction carries the possibility of a class E felony. The change in penalties is intended to deter individuals from intentionally releasing destructive swine into Missouri’s landscape.
Jeff Reed, MCA Region 3 Vice President, traveled to Jefferson City for the event, as he had many times prior to testify in support of the legislation.
“The economic destruction taking place in my region from feral hogs impacts more than just farmers and ranchers," Reed said. "It impacts rural economic development and small businesses who depend on the agricultural sector for their income.”
MCA thanked Gov. Parson, Sen. Hough, Rep. Taylor and Rep. Rone for their efforts to protect Missouri livestock producers.
Missouri Farm Bureau also applauded Gov. Parson for signing HB 369.
“Feral hogs are a menace to farmers throughout southern Missouri. Across the U.S., feral hogs cause as much as $1.5 billion in damage each year. In southern Missouri, feral hogs root up crops and damage pastures to the point some lands can no longer be farmed,” said Garrett Hawkins, president of Missouri Farm Bureau. “HB 369 increases punishment on bad actors transporting and releasing hogs and clarifies existing regulations.”
He continued, “We appreciate the leadership of Tim Taylor, state representative, and Senator Mike Bernskoetter on this legislation and Governor Parson [for] taking this threat seriously as we continue to work toward our ultimate goal of complete eradication of feral hogs."