On May 17, 2021, Governor Henry McMaster signed House Bill 3539 – the Feral Hog Transportation Bill into law requiring hogs be properly identified when being transported. Feral hogs are responsible for an estimated $115 million in damage statewide each year.
Introduced by Representative Sylleste Davis from Berkeley County, this bill gives law enforcement the tools they need to identify and prosecute individuals illegally transporting feral hogs. While it is currently illegal in South Carolina to transport feral hogs, there is no way of proving hogs to be wild. This legislation requires individuals to provide identification of the animals, and explicitly allows South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officers to seize and/or destroy feral hogs. Those found to be in violation of the law face fines of up to $1,000 per hog and possible imprisonment.
“We are ecstatic we were able to get this legislation passed,” said SCFB President Harry Ott. “While it is not the only solution to the feral hog problem, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’m thankful that the General Assembly and their staff listened to our farmers and took action.”
South Carolina Farm Bureau led the way for passage of the bill, and grassroots advocates communicated their concerns over the growing wild hog population. Many farmers around the state have suffered tremendous crop loss and fear disease spread among livestock as a result of this nuisance species.