At the January 26, 2021 County Council meeting Council discussed a bylaw that would prohibit wild boar in the County.
At the Aug. 12, 2020 Agricultural Service Board (ASB) Meeting, the ASB resolved to direct County Administration to create a Prohibited Animal Bylaw that includes Wild Boar which would then be forwarded to County Council for approval.
While preparing this bylaw, which Administration worked with the Assistant CAO and Bylaw Department to draft, Administration reviewed Mountain View and Red Deer County’s Animal Control Bylaws which both include Wild Boar. Both of these bylaws have a fine of $10,000 for owning wild boar and based on this Administration recommended to Wetaskiwin County Council that a $10,000 penalty amount also be drafted into the County of Wetaskiwin Wild Boar Bylaw.
Currently the County does not have any regulations around farming wild boar or prohibiting them.
As provincial regulations declare wild boar a pest when at large because of the significant damage that the cause to the environment when loose, County is concerned of possible damage to farms, livestock and surrounding areas if Wild Boar are able to become at large. There are numerous jurisdictions outside of Alberta as well that do not allow them in the area because of the damage they cause.
After discussing the bylaw, Council decided to table the bylaw until they can gather more public input. Council created a public survey for County residents to fill out to gather more information on the number of residents currently farming wild boar and the regulations that residents feel should be in place regarding wild boar.
Council discussed that if wild boar were to be farmed in the County, strict regulations would be put in place.
“Aside from the fencing guideline Council could allow wild boar on farms but not hunt farms established,” said Director of Agricultural Services, Steve Majek. “Through the bylaw they could consider limiting the number of animals that a producer has, where in the County they would allow wild boar to be farmed or allow hunt farms to be.”
The survey about wild boar in the County will be on the County website until Feb. 22 or 23, 2021. Council will then discuss the results of the survey at the March 2, 2021 Council meeting. You can find the survey at www.county.wetaskiwin.ab.ca.