Feral pigs roam near a Mertzon, Texas ranch.

Feral pigs roam near a Mertzon, Texas ranch.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last Wednesday that it's awarding nearly $1.5 million in funds towards controlling feral swine in Georgia.

GPB's Sarah Rose reports on the USDA's funding of feral swine control in Georgia.

"I think one of the primary reasons it's important for the USDA to get involved is because of our relationship with private landowners," said Tina Jermone, the USDA State Resource Conservationist for Georgia. "We already have a relationship with a lot of those landowners in implementing conservation practices. So addressing these concerns, I think, is a natural fit."

The funding is part of a larger program called the "Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program," which is a joint effort between the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. 

Jermone says that part of the program's funding will go not only to controlling feral swine populations, but also towards educational resources on the impact that feral swine have on the state's natural resources and wildlife. She says that feral pigs are often territorial and can be aggressive.

Funding will also go to restoration efforts led by the NRCS.

"There are a variety of techniques that can be used to manage the damage caused by invasive feral swine. Fencing and harassment are appropriate in some cases, while trapping and humane euthanasia for trapped swine are tactics appropriate for other areas," APHIS said in a statement given to GPB News. 

According to the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts, feral swine caused $150 million in damages to the state's agricultural crops and natural resources last year.