Are wild hogs a threat in Colleton?


Horseowners around Campbello and Spartanburg have been horrified by a number of horses who have been injured, sometimes killed, by deep puncture wounds in the last month. SLED was called in to investigate, and they attributed the injuries to feral hogs. Should Colleton County horseowners be concerned? Longtime Clemson Extension Agent Marion Barnes, who has studied feral hogs for years, said, “At this time I am not 100% convinced from what little information I have that all the injuries were inflicted by wild pigs. I would think injuries would have been on the fore or hind legs or possibly head or neck areas, instead of so high on the body of the animal. I would like to see some more evidence before making a final decision and lying the blame on totally on wild pigs in every incident.” That said, wild pigs are dangerous and capable of these types on injuries to livestock, Barnes said. “They also carry and transmit numerous diseases that pose risk to livestock, as well as humans. They certainly can inflect the type of injuries seen in the photos — just ask the folks that hunt wild pigs with dogs.” Upstate veterinarians, who treated surviving horses, are also skeptical of the hog report, although say hogs could be possible. The injuries were definitely inflicted with a very sharp instrument, similar to a hunting knife. And wild pigs are quite capable of jumping and climbing fences. They have been known to escape from hog traps over five-foot panels, Barnes said. “We all need to be concerned about the spread of wild pigs across the state. They are extremely destructive to our environment, including degradation of water quality, damage to farmers’ row crops and pastures, damage to newly planted pine seedlings, destruction of wildlife habitat and compete for food that our wildlife depend on, are an increasing hazard on our highways, as well as having numerous other negative impacts,” Barnes said. For more information, read the SLED report at or visit the Facebook page, Help Us Keep Horses of The Southeast Safe, established by upstate horseowners to report and keep track of the situation.


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