Overview and risks

A wild pig is any pig that is not contained or under the physical control of a person. This includes free roaming pigs that are:

  • domesticated pigs (for example, pot-bellied pigs and farmed domestic breeds, including heritage breeds)
  • Eurasian wild boar
  • hybrids of domestic pigs and Eurasian wild boar

Risks to the environment

Wild pigs are not native to Ontario and can have a negative impact on native wildlife and ecosystems. They have high reproductive potential which means that populations can increase in number and spread rapidly, making their impacts more severe. Impacts to the natural environment include:

  • preying upon native plants and wildlife
  • competing with native wildlife for food, water, and space
  • rooting into the ground with their tusks and snouts to dig for roots, tubers, bulbs, worms, insects, slugs, and snails
  • trampling and wallowing, which can cause erosion, impact water quality, and degrade natural areas
  • spreading disease to wildlife

Other impacts include:

  • damage to crops and pasturelands
  • spreading disease to livestock, pets and humans
  • aggressive behaviour to humans or pets
  • high costs to control wild pigs if they become established in parts of Ontario

Wild pigs are not only a threat to the province’s natural environment, but they also pose a significant risk to other animals by transmitting diseases such as African Swine Fever. Our goal is to reduce the disease risk these animals pose to Ontario’s domestic herd and the extensive damage they can do to agricultural crops.

In Ontario, a small number of Eurasian wild boars have been imported and raised as alternative livestock on farms for meat. To protect Ontario’s natural environment and domestic pig industry, the Eurasian wild boar will be phased out of Ontario by 2024. Learn more on the phase out of Eurasian wild boar that begins on January 1, 2022, and what you need to know that will apply to all pig owners in Ontario.

Download fact sheet (PDF)

Report a sighting

If you see a wild pig or have information about a sighting (dead or alive), please report it to:

Please include as much of the following information as you can:

  • the date and time of the sighting
  • the location (intersecting roads, landmarks, or GPS coordinates)
  • pictures or a video
  • the number of pigs and whether piglets were present
  • whether the pig appeared to be a:
    • domesticated farmed pig
    • pot-bellied pig
    • Eurasian wild boar
    • hybrid
  • whether this was an isolated sighting or whether the same individual(s) has been seen multiple times

Notice of collection

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is collecting personal information under the authority of Section 51 of the Invasive Species Act. Personal information may be used by staff to contact individuals regarding potential sightings and locations of wild pigs, or to update individuals on the status of wild pig sightings and management plans. For questions regarding this collection and use of this personal information, please contact:

Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch,
300 Water St., 5th Floor North Tower,
Peterborough, Ontario,
K9J 3C7,
Tel: 1-833-933-2355, or
Email: wildpigs@ontario.ca.

Status of invasive wild pigs in Ontario

Read our annual reports for information on invasive wild pig sightings in Ontario:

2019-2020 Annual Report (PDF)

2020-2021 Annual Report (PDF)

There is currently no firm evidence to suggest that there are established populations of wild pigs that are breeding and self-sustaining in Ontario, and we must keep it that way.

The least costly and most effective approach for managing wild pigs is to act early. As such, Ontario is taking a proactive approach to address this serious threat. We are working with experts from other jurisdictions and relevant agencies and organizations to implement actions that are outlined in Ontario’s Strategy to Address the Threat of Invasive Wild Pigs (PDF).

We continue to collect and monitor reports of invasive wild pig sightings from the public. These reports help us learn more about the number and location of wild pigs in the province.

Based on the sightings you report, we do research that includes on-the-ground follow up in areas where reports suggest a high likelihood that wild pigs are present.

At these locations, ministry staff:

  • engage with residents to learn as much as possible about wild pig activity
  • set up trail cameras to detect whether wild pigs are still in the area

Where appropriate, ministry staff may trap and remove invasive wild pigs from the environment.

To contribute to this important research, continue to report sightings of wild pigs to wildpigs@ontario.ca, 1-833-933-2355 or iNaturalist Ontario wild pig reporting.

What wild pigs look like

  • Scientific name: Sus scrofa
  • Native continent: Eurasia and North Africa
  • Classification: hoofed mammal
  • Typical colour and markings:
    • adults: black, grey, brown, red, white (highly variable)
    • piglets: may be solid, striped or spotted
  • Wild pigs:
    • The appearance of wild pigs can vary substantially from resembling domesticated pigs to Eurasian wild boar. They can exhibit many colour variations, ranging from very dark to light, and may have spots.

      Wild pigs may have the following features, but they can be quite variable:
      • long snouts
      • large tusks
      • wedge-shaped heads
      • coarse hair
      • length: 3.5-5 ft
      • height: 2-3 ft
      • weight: 30-420 lbs

    Photos of invasive wild pigs

    The term ‘wild pig’ encompasses several types of swine that are all the same species, (Sus scrofa) and their appearance can vary substantially:

    Invasive wild pigs with the typical features of Eurasian wild boar:

    Large invasive wild pig (boar) with tusks walking in a field.

    Photo credit: NDMNRF.

    Wild pig (boar) in hay field – photo taken in Saskatchewan.

    Photo credit: Ryan Brook.

    Large invasive wild pig (boar) walking in a forest.

    Photo credit: NDMNRF.

    Invasive wild pigs with the typical features of domesticated pigs:

    A tan wild pig (boar) sow and black wild (boar) piglet feeding in an open field – photo taken in Saskatchewan.

    Photo credit: Ryan Brook.

    Five wild pigs (boar) with varied colour variations and with domestic pig features on the side of a road – photo taken in southern Ontario.

    Photo credit: Maureen Anderson.

    Invasive wild pigs with the typical features of pot-bellied pigs:

    A large white wild pig with pot-bellied pig features.

    Photo credit: Rick Alexander.

    A medium-sized, dark brown, spotted, pot-bellied pig walking in the middle of a road – photo taken in southern Ontario.

    Photo credit: Submitted photo.

    Photograph of a black, feral pot-bellied pig in a field.

    Photo credit: Debbie Ervine.

    Pig ownership

    The risks posed by wild pigs to Ontario’s natural environment and agriculture industry remains high. To address these risks and prevent the establishment of invasive wild pigs in Ontario, changes have been developed under the Invasive Species Act, 2015.

    As of January 1, 2022:

    • live pigs are not permitted in provincial parks or conservation reserves
    • It is illegal to release any pig into the natural environment

    If a pig escapes or is otherwise released, owners must:

    Please refer to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affair’s Dealing with escaped livestock in your community factsheet for more information.

    Eurasian wild boar and their hybrids play a greater role in the establishment and spread of wild pigs relative to domesticated breeds (for example, breeds of Sus scrofa domesticus). Ontario has introduced new directions to phase Eurasian wild boar and their hybrids out of the province by 2024:

    • As of January 1, 2022, the import, possession, transport, propagation, lease, trade, buying and sale of Eurasian wild boar and their hybrids is prohibited.
    • Anyone who possesses Eurasian wild boar or their hybrids on January 1, 2022 is eligible for a two-year exception period (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023), provided the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is notified by March 1, 2022.
    • Notifications can be provided to wildpigs@ontario.ca or 1-833-933-2355 and must include the following information:
      • owner’s name
      • contact information
      • location and number of Eurasian wild boar and hybrids

    Following the two-year exception period, prohibitions will apply to all Ontarians.

    Note that the new directions related to Eurasian wild boar and their hybrids do not apply to domesticated pigs (for example, Sus scrofa domesticus), including commercial and heritage breeds of pigs, and pot-bellied pigs.

    Targeted financial support will be available for Ontario’s producers of Eurasian wild boars and associated hybrids to help transition out of the production of these animals and into other forms of production. Please visit the Agricorp website for further details.

    Visit Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ website for guidance on fencing for outdoor pig production.

    For guidance on small scale pig production, please visit Ontario Pork’s webpage for their Small Scale Pig Production Manual.

    Hunters and property owners

    As of January 1, 2022, hunting pigs in Ontario is illegal.

    For more detailed information on the prohibition of hunting pigs in Ontario, please view Ontario's Strategy to Address the Threat of Invasive Wild Pigs (PDF) and what you need to know under the Invasive Species Act, 2015.

    Landowners (or agents acting on their behalf) continue to have the right to protect their property from damage caused by pigs, including for the purpose of maintaining biosecurity. Consideration should be taken that the pigs may be owned and are being sought for recapture by their owners. To learn what to expect from animal owners in your rural area and how to return escaped farm animals, see Dealing with escaped livestock in your community by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

    A person who captures or kills a pig for protection of property must immediately notify the ministry by emailing wildpigs@ontario.ca, or phoning 1-833-933-2355 and provide relevant information (such as, the location and number of pigs captured or killed).

    If you shoot a wild pig for protection of property, it is your responsibility to ensure:

    • the pig is a wild pig
    • you are following all relevant federal, provincial, and municipal legislation regarding trespass, licensing and discharge of firearms

    The ministry is asking the public to report wild pig sightings. Sightings play a critical role in understanding the locations and number of invasive wild pigs in the province and will inform further management.

    Sightings can be reported via email to wildpigs@ontario.ca, 1-833-933-2355 or to the iNaturalist Ontario wild pig reporting webpage.

Updated: November 09, 2021
Published: October 18, 2018