Date of this Version
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) has received credible reports of individuals obtaining feral hogs from other states and illegally releasing them near the park boundary. These reports have been supported by the removal of hogs with physical and behavioral characteristics not common of wild hogs in GRSM. In 2001, GRSM established a partnership with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to survey for wild hog diseases and, in 2005, similar partnerships were established with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services. From 2001 to 2007, 497 wild hog serological samples (28.4% of all hogs removed) were collected and tested for swine brucellosis and pseudorabies. All samples were negative for swine brucellosis. Since 2005, 16 wild hog samples (3.2%) tested positive for pseudorabies and the most recent sampling indicates that the prevalence and distribution of the disease may be increasing in GRSM. The occurrence of pseudorabies in GRSM is thought to be directly related to the illegal release of feral hogs near the park boundary.