Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill today that prohibits the possession, sale and trade of Eurasian boars, claiming that the big pigs are hurting the state’s wildlife and farms.
The legislation, which was passed in Albany in June, also prohibits the hunting and breeding of the boars, which can weigh as much as 300 pounds.
But the law would impact existing businesses: The bills says there are at least 13 indoor shooting facilities that include boar. The bill would make the possession of the boars illegal as of Aug. 31, 2015.
The bill said that the hunting facilities can charge $350 to $1,000 per animal to hunt.
Animal-rights groups applauded the passage of the legislation.
“Animals escaping from fenced shooting facilities led directly to the establishment of these wild populations in New York,” said Brian Shapiro, state director for The Humane Society. “Addressing this issue at its source is the most logical, humane and cost effective solution.”
The bill memo states that unlike domesticated farm pigs, Eurasian boars mature in six to 10 months and can breed twice a year, with litters averaging six to eight piglets at a time.
“The population of Eurasian boars in any given area can double or even triple in a single year,” the bill states.
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan, said the animals have become “invasive species.”
“These animals are an invasive species that have already begun to severely damage native plants and wildlife, livestock, agriculture, and public health,” Glick said in a statement. “For several years, this environmental and public health concern has been growing. I am thrilled that my efforts to sound the alarm have resulted in passage of this critical legislation.”