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a eurasian boar staring at the camera surrounded by trees

Ban the Boar? Not in Clearwater

Wild boar is a serious threat to crops, pastures, and property, but the county believes it can handle them

Wild boar may not be native to Alberta, but they have every right to stay, according to Clearwater. The county recently turned down a request from Mountain View County to ban wild boar within its borders.

Wild boar are considered pests in Alberta under the Agricultural Pests Act. This law allows municipalities to take action against native and introduced pests that affect agricultural production.

Introduced pests, or introduced species, are plants or animals that have been accidentally or intentionally inserted into areas outside their native range. Invasive species are non-native animals or plants that negatively impact the environment.

Most of the wild boar in Alberta comes from a species of boar native to Eurasia. These furry friends are far from home.

So how did the boar get here in the first place?

In the 1980s and 1990s, boar was brought to Alberta to be raised as livestock. But, some escaped and created wild boar populations.

Now, wild boar is one of North America’s most damaging invasive animals.

In the case of Alberta’s wild boar, these squealers cause damage to crops, pastures, property, and the environment as a whole. If that wasn’t bad enough, disease transfer between wild boar and livestock is a serious threat.

damage caused to a hay field caused by wild boar that shows torn up soil
A hay field damaged by wild boar | Canadian Cattlemen | Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

So it’s no surprise that many of Alberta’s counties have banned wild boar within their boundaries. But when Clearwater was asked to follow suit, it refused.


One of the reasons the county gave was that other species cause damage or threaten public safety but are not banned.

“Bison are a good example of that. Feral horses already are on the Pest Act, and they create issues in the West Country, substantially more than wild boar do at this time,” Matt Martinson, Clearwater’s Director of Agriculture & Community Services, told the Red Deer Advocate.

Other members of Clearwater’s board suggested that a ban would prevent landowners in the county from raising wild boar on their property as livestock. Now that’s what I call homestyle bacon!

“It could be a bit of a slippery slope by starting to signal that we’re going to start regulating that freedom and that tradition we have here to produce livestock and to harvest that food on your property if you wish,” continued Martinson.

Clearwater believes the Agricultural Pests Act is enough to keep wild boar in the area under control. But if things get out of control, the county also believes it has the resources to deal with it.

If there’s ever a wild boar apocalypse in Alberta, at least we will know where it starts!

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