Help Keep Montana Free Of Wild Pigs

Wild pigs/feral swine are swine that have either escaped or were released intentionally, creating free-ranging swine populations. Wild pigs/feral swine can be found in 38 states with an estimated population of over six million animals. Wild pigs/feral pigs are also found in Canadian provinces bordering Montana. Prolific breeders, they can produce four to eight babies per litter. Wild pigs/feral pigs are highly adaptable, but prefer habitats with an abundant supply of water and dense cover. They are aggressive and pose serious ecological, economic, and health threats.

Currently, there are no known wild pig populations in Montana.

Wild pigs/feral swine harbor diseases (swine brucellosis, pseudorabies, tuberculosis, and others) and parasites, which can impact the livestock industry. Wild pigs/feral swine most commonly carry brucella suis and can cause false positive test in cattle for brucellosis and require temporary quarantine and operation interruption. They also carry zoonotic diseases and parasites that pose a risk to humans. Wild pigs/feral swine can and will cause extensive damage by fouling water sources for native wildlife, livestock, and humans. They will consume and jeopardize native wildlife and plants and compete for food and habitat resources with native animals. Rooting by wild pigs/feral swine causes erosion and can compromise sensitive ecosystems as well as render some areas impassable for farm machinery. Wild pigs/feral swine will prey on the young of livestock and wildlife such as kids, lambs, deer fawns, and ground-nesting birds.

Due to their reproductive efficiency, and movement behavior, wild pigs/feral swine cannot be eradicated by simple hunting practices. Hunting pressure that fails to eliminate all animals in a group (sounder) can result in further dispersion of animals. Wild pigs/feral swine that have experienced hunting pressure become more difficult to hunt and are harder to eradicate.

In the state Montana, feral swine/wild pigs are regulated by the Department of Livestock. Montana's definition of feral swine includes animals living in an untamed or wild state, as well as swine that appear to be contained for commercial hunting or trapping. Introducing/transporting/releasing feral swine or wild pigs in Montana is illegal. Private land owners and public land users must notify the Department of Livestock immediately following a sighting of feral swine or wild pigs. Penalties for violation of Montana law includes fines of at least $2,000 but not more than $10,000 for each violation.

The Montana Department of Livestock has partnered with Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; USDA Wildlife Services; Montana State University Extension; Central & Eastern Montana Invasive Species Team; and the Montana Invasive Species Council on outreach efforts and response to reports of feral swine.

Wild pig/feral swine sightings must be reported within 24 hours. Reports should be made to the Department of Livestock emergency reporting number 406-444-2976.


Montana Invasive Species Council: Squeal on Pigs | Montana Invasive Species (

USDA APHIS Wildlife Services: USDA APHIS | Feral Swine-Managing an Invasive Species

Montana Department of Livestock:


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