Sen. Dodd’s Feral Pig Control Bill Approved in Committee
SACRAMENTO – Legislation advanced today from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would help control the state’s growing wild pig population, reducing damage caused by the invasive species to the environment, private property and agriculture.
“With this vote we’re a step closer to controlling the destructive, non-native wild pig population, which is exploding across California,” Sen. Dodd said. “They are endangering sensitive habitats, farms and other animals. By increasing opportunities to hunt them we can reduce the threat to our state.”
California’s wild pig population has soared since various non-native boar and pig breeds were introduced centuries ago. They now can be found in 56 of the 58 counties. Numerous environmental and public health problems are associated with pigs and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife allows year-round pig hunting. Sen. Dodd’s proposal, Senate Bill 856, would lift remaining hunting restrictions allowing for better population control and habitat management.
“I continue to admire Sen. Dodd’s effort on SB 856,” said Eric Sklar, member of the California Fish and Game Commission. “He has worked diligently with stakeholders to craft and amend the bill. In its current form it will help begin the critical effort to reduce the feral pig population and the severe damage they cause."
SB 856 has support from wildlife officials and farmers, among other groups. It passed the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife committee with overwhelming support. Separately, the same committee approved a second bill from Sen. Dodd, SB 865, which increases the eligibility age for a junior hunting license in California, opening opportunities to participate in outdoor sports to a greater number of young people.
“With cost and opportunity both identified as major barriers to the recruitment of new hunters, SB 865 will help to inspire more youth to become life-long hunters by allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to take advantage of an inexpensive junior hunting license and the many special youth hunts made available by DFW and conservation non-profits,” said Bill Gaines, spokesperson for the sponsors.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.