Wild hogs (Sus scrofa) are an invasive, exotic species that has spread through much of the United States through anthropogenic means. Many states have laws and regulations with the intent of preventing the illegal importation, introduction, and establishment of wild swine populations. However, in many cases, these laws have been ineffectual at stopping the anthropogenic spread of wild swine. To assess the risk for moving wild hogs, we examined various wild hog-related laws throughout the United States and assessed the potential reward for their illegal movement of releasing hogs for hunting purposes. We found that fines ranged from $0 to $10,000, with the mean minimum fine of $1,085 and a mean maximum fine of $2,708. The mean cost of a single-day hunting trip was $448; however, this varied widely among states. In many cases, potential rewards, as demonstrated by the economic utility, for releasing wild hogs far outweighed the monetary risk from getting caught. States with few or no wild hogs and weak laws and/or fines are at a substantial risk for the illegal importation of wild hogs. To reduce the potential for the spread of wild hogs, agencies should concentrate on increasing monetary fines or increasing the perceptions that this illegal activity will be successfully detected and prosecuted.
Caudell, Joe N.; Dowell, Emily; and Welch, Katelyn
"Economic utility for the anthropogenic spread of wild hogs,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 10
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol10/iss2/9