PIG004: Use of Judas pigs

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) have a significant impact on the environment and agricultural production and are a potential reservoir and vector of exotic diseases. Control methods include poisoning, trapping, exclusion fencing, ground shooting and shooting from helicopters.

Radio-collared ‘Judas’ pigs are used to locate groups of feral pigs that are difficult to find by other methods. This technique involves attaching a radio-collar to a feral pig and releasing it with the expectation that it will join up with other pigs. Feral pigs are gregarious, although not to the point of forming large herds as goats do. The nuclear social unit is based around one to several females and their offspring. Other individuals may loosely associate with these groups particularly older adult males when females are in oestrus.

Once their position is established, the feral pigs accompanying the Judas pig are either trapped or destroyed by shooting (refer to Trapping of feral pigs, Aerial shooting of feral pigs and Ground shooting of feral pigs for further details on these methods of control). The Judas pig is usually allowed to escape so that it will search out other groups of feral pigs. Once eradication is acheived the Judas pig is located, then shot and the radio-collar is retrieved.

This standard operating procedure (SOP) is a guide only; it does not replace or override the legislation that applies in the relevant State or Territory jurisdiction. The SOP should only be used subject to the applicable legal requirements (including OH&S) operating in the relevant jurisdiction.

Author Sharp, T.
Date 20/12/2012
Year 2012
Pages 4
Notes PIG004
Control method Judas Technique
Region Australia - national
Links https://www.pestsmart.org.au/animal-welfare/humane-codes/
Documents PIG004: Use of Judas pigs [230 kb PDF]