Licensed hunters now have the green light to shoot feral pigs anywhere in B.C. to help curb their spread.
According to the provincial government, feral pigs have escaped farms and become established in the wild in parts of the Lower Mainland, Kamloops, the Okanagan, Peace River and Kootenay regions.
There aren't many of them but they're considered invasive animals that are extremely hard to eradicate and letting hunters kill them is billed as a proactive way to keep them spreading further.
"Feral pigs can cause significant damage to local ecosystems by competing with local wildlife for forage, damaging crops, uprooting native vegetation and eating the eggs of ground nesting birds," according to a government press release.
"They can also be the source of infectious diseases and parasites which can be harmful to wildlife, livestock and human health."
Only trained and certified hunters with valid licences can hunt feral pigs, which can be aggressive and be dangerous to the public or a hunter if wounded.
In addition to feral pigs, the province has also reclassified European wall lizards and non-native turtles as Schedule C wildlife that can now be trapped or killed without a special permit.