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Wild Pig Numbers Increasing in Kentucky

The feral pig problem is spreading in Kentucky. The animals aren’t native to the commonwealth, but were illegally brought into the state and let loose for hunting. They’ve been copiously reproducing ever since.

In 2009, wild pigs were only in about 23 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Now, they’re in 44, and spreading.

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Mark Marraccini says the animals have few redeeming characteristics.

“They’re very destructive,” he said. “They carry a host of diseases; they can infect livestock, pets and even people. They have pretty incredible reproductive rates, they destroy habitat. They compete with native wildlife; they simply out-compete native wildlife for the food that’s there.”

In other areas, like the Bernheim Forest, the wild pig problem has improved. There were a number of the animals for several years, but the number seems to have decreased lately according to a spokeswoman.

It’s illegal to bring wild pigs into the state, and two people have been convicted so far this year and fined. Hunting the animals is legal, and the meat can harvested for bacon, ham, and other pork products.

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Local News

Department of Fish and Wildlife Defends Louisville Bats Partnership

The Office of the State Auditor says it was unable to assess the “reasonableness” of a luxury suite purchased by the Department of Fish and Wildlife last year.

The $3,900 suite at Louisville Slugger Field was listed under promotional expenses in the interest of spreading awareness for the department and its campaigns. But Terry Sebastian from the state Auditor’s office says the benefits from the suite were unclear.

“Fish and Wildlife could not provide definite evidence as to which employees attended the events or which if any of their business partners attended, so the benefit of Fish and Wildlife using public dollars to purchase this suite is unclear to us.”

The department of Fish and Wildlife says the partnership with the Louisville Bats was a great way to market themselves to a variety of people in the community who enjoy getting outdoors.