2 Convicted of Illegally Importing Wild Pigs Into Kentucky

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A Florida man pleaded guilty last week to three counts of illegally importing and possessing wild pigs in Kentucky. State law prohibits persons from possessing and importing wild pigs, or releasing them to run free.

Teddy Wilburn King, 55, of Old Town, Florida, paid $300 in fines plus court costs for bringing wild pigs into Kentucky from Florida. King, who was originally charged on June 16, made his plea a week later in McCreary County District Court.

Conservation Officer Travis Neal initiated the case after a McCreary County resident killed an escaped pig and alerted Neal to the presence of the animals.

King's conviction followed a similar conviction last April. In that case, Bryan Currey, 46, of Elkton, Kentucky, was convicted of bringing about a dozen wild pigs into the state from Tennessee. Currey, who was charged on January 7, intended to sell the wild pigs to hunters. He pleaded guilty in Marshall County District Court to one count of illegal importation of wild pigs. He received a $300 fine and was ordered to pay court costs plus $250 in restitution to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Wild pigs have been established in relatively low numbers in a handful of Kentucky counties for almost a decade. The numbers have escalated in recent years – department officials have documented the presence of wild pigs in 44 counties, including central Kentucky.

"In 2009, we had confirmed wild pigs in 23 Kentucky counties, so their expansion has been dramatic," said Wildlife Division Program coordinator Steven Dobey. "Unfortunately, our research has revealed that this rapid expansion is often the result of illegal releases by people hoping to manufacture hunting opportunities."

While the opportunity to hunt wild pigs is often glamorized by the media, the negative consequences associated with these non-native animals far outweigh any benefits. Wild pigs are an incredibly destructive species, both for wildlife and farmers.

"Their presence is particularly disturbing because wild pigs carry a host of diseases that can infect livestock, pets and even people," said Dobey. "They have incredible reproductive rates. They destroy habitats. They simply out-compete native wildlife - especially deer and turkey - for food."

The department is committed to preventing wild pigs from becoming further established and severely altering the landscape for the state's native wildlife. The public is urged to contact Kentucky Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-858-1549 during weekday working hours to report any sightings, hunter kills, or releases of wild pigs.

Comments

GooseHunter Jr's picture

I too am surprised that the

I too am surprised that the penalty was a bit stiffer.  know what thes hogs can do, all the destruction and the money the states looses to pay back farmers and ranchers, you would have thought they would have really made an example out of these too.  I do not think they will try anything like that again but I am sure somebody else will.

hunter25's picture

Well even thought the penalty

Well even thought the penalty was not very large or severe hopefully he will not be doing anything like it again. I don't even see the point as like the article said Kentucky already has a fairly large and growing population in some areas. To take the time and expense involved to transport more from another state seems a little pointless to me. Maybe he wanted to get them spreading faster closer to home without realizing how destructive they can be. Most places that have them would much rather be one of the places that does not. Hunting them is a lot of fun but I sure wouldn't want them digging up my property.