Swine Transportation & Hunting Laws

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Swine Transportation:
The law now requires that swine transported on North Carolina highways have “official identification approved by the State Veterinarian”. For most folks, that will be the ear tags supplied by the State Veterinarian’s office. These tags are being provided free of charge.

This law went into effect on October 1, 2011, with penalties effective October 1, 2012. Hogs transported without the proper tags, approved tattoo numbers, or approved ear notches will be considered feral hogs. Violators will face a fine of $5,000 for each hog being transported that does not have identification. To get your tags, call the NCDA&CS State Veterinarian’s office at (919) 707-3151. Here are some important links:


The following is from the NC Wildlife website:

Transport and Release of Feral Swine

It is illegal to transport or release feral swine (any swine not meeting NC Department of Agriculture’s permitting, tagging, and health certificate requirements under General Statute § 106-798). During transport, any swine not possessing official identification is presumed to be feral and is subject to a fine of up to $5,000 for each animal.


Once classified as a game animal and protected for sport hunting purposes, it is now clear that the problems feral swine cause on the landscape far outweigh any positive benefits they provide. The goal of recent legislative changes and rule modifications is to make it easier to remove feral swine from the landscape and to prevent relocation and establishment of feral swine in areas they do not currently exist. These exotic non-native animals compete with native wildlife and pose significant threats to the environment and agricultural operations. The WRC will continue to evaluate opportunities to facilitate aggressive removal of feral swine.

Currently, feral swine are classified as non-game animals, with no closed hunting season on private lands and no bag limits. All persons hunting feral swine at any time must have a valid hunting license or must be exempt from having a license pursuant to G.S. 113-276. Feral swine may be hunted at night with lights and electronic calls may be used. On game lands, a permit is required to take feral swine from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise and feral swine can only be taken by licensed hunters during the open season for any game animal using any legal manner of take allowed during those seasons. Also on game lands, dogs may not be used to hunt feral swine except on those game lands that allow the use of dogs for hunting deer or bear and during the applicable deer or bear season. Rules associated with hunting feral swine and additional hunting information can be found in the N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Regulations Digest.

Hunters should be familiar with disease risks associated with handling and consuming feral swine and take precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to disease pathogens. To receive a free feral swine disease test kit, contact the NCDA&CS Veterinary Division at 919-707-3250.