Bipartisan legislation increasing penalties for people who knowingly release feral hogs into the wild has received initial approval from the Missouri House. The bill, which is sponsored by Portageville State Representative Don Rone, increases the criminal penalty from a class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony.
The Missouri Department of Conservation, the Sierra Club, and all of Missouri’s commodity groups support Rone’s bill, along with the Missouri Parks Association. MPA says feral hogs are “a clear threat” to agriculture and wildlife, noting that they’ve damaged numerous state parks, including Roaring River in Cassville and Lake Wappapello.
St. Louis State Representative Kimberly-Ann Collins, who serves on the House Agriculture Policy Committee, urged fellow Democrats to back the bill. Collins says feral hogs are causing millions of dollars in damage, adding that the Sierra Club and farm groups support the bill.
The Missouri Parks Association also supports the bill, saying feral hogs have caused damage at Roaring River and Elephant Rocks state parks.