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Fish & Game Consider Two Issues Important to Ag

Sacramento, Calif., (January 31, 2017) – The Fish and Game Commission’s Wildlife Resources Committee (WRC) met in Redding last week and discussed two issues of interest to Farm Bureau members.

The WRC is considering recommending changes to how wild pigs are managed in California. Currently wild pigs are considered a game animal and require a depredation permit to take any wild pig causing damage to property. There is broad agreement that the population of wild pigs should be reduced and the Commission is determining the best way to address the issue. A draft proposal of amended regulations was shared at the meeting to open discussions with the public. Additionally, legislation will need drafting to amend the Fish and Game code to allow the regulatory changes. Farm Bureau will be engaging with the WRC as it embarks on this important issue.

The WRC also heard testimony on the status of the Predator Policy Workgroup. This workgroup was appointed by the Commission to make recommendations on policy and management of predators in California. Farm Bureau is a member of the workgroup to represent our members’ interests. The workgroup developed a draft predatory policy to present to the WRC. Environmental and animal rights interests were opposed to some of the language in the policy and preferred to see a requirement that non-lethal measures be exhausted prior to the use of lethal control. Fortunately, the WRC did not accept that proposed change, but did ask the workgroup to revisit the policy to address additional concerns regarding humane methods of take and public values. The workgroup will meet again to discuss possible policy and regulatory changes on February 21st.

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