About wild boar at large

When not being raised as livestock, wild boar are considered ‘at large’ and are a provincially regulated invasive pest.

We do not give out locations for hunting wild boar due to privacy issues.

Find out more about signs of wild boar

A regulated pest

Wild boar refers to:

  • Eurasian wild boar
  • Hybrids of domestic pigs and Eurasian wild boar

When not being raised as livestock and contained inside a fence, wild boar are considered to be ‘at large.’ In Alberta, wild boar are an invasive species and a provincially regulated agricultural pest when at large. They can damage property, agricultural crops, pastures and the environment, and are known to endanger people and animals.

Under the Agricultural Pests Act and Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation, landowners are required to control or destroy pests and prevent them from becoming established on their land.

Escaped domestic pigs are stray livestock, not pests. They are regulated under the Stray Animals Act and the Stray Animals Regulation.

Stray livestock can cause damage and spread diseases. Livestock owners are responsible for fencing in their livestock. More information about stray livestock is available on the Livestock Identification Services Ltd Stray (Trespassing) Livestock page.

Examples of domestic pigs that may be mistaken for wild boar.


Wild boar at large have been an issue since they began to escape from livestock operations in the 1980s and have continually reproduced. Wild boar are not native to Alberta; they came to the province in the 1980s and ‘90s as livestock. At the time, there were no requirements for secure containment. Over the years, some escaped and established feral (wild) populations.

How they survive

Wild boar are very adaptable. The wild boar in Alberta are typically the Eurasian type and have long dark hair and a woolly underfur that protects them from extreme cold. They build nests where they shelter during cold weather and are able to travel in deep snow to access food sources.


Wild boar prefer habitats that provide forest cover for hiding and resting, as well as access to food. During the summer months they can be found close to water sources where they can wallow to stay cool.

What they eat

Wild boar will eat just about any organic matter. They are omnivores, which means they will eat plants, insects, and other animals. They have a 'cartilaginous disc' on their snouts, which helps them dig and root extensively in search of insects and roots. They can use their very sharp tusks for rooting, as well as protection.

Impacts of wild boar at large

Wild boar at large are an invasive pest that can:

  • damage property, agricultural crops, pastures and the environment, including through rooting (digging)
  • endanger people and animals
  • harass livestock and consume their feed, and prey on young livestock and wildlife
  • spread diseases that could be transmitted to wildlife, livestock, pets and people (they are a known vector for African Swine Fever)
  • alter the ecosystem, including through wallowing that can contaminate water supplies, promote erosion and destroy fish habitat
  • compete with wildlife and destroy other sensitive natural habitats
  • consume the eggs of ground-nesting birds

Recognizing signs of activity

Surveillance is key to eliminating the threat of invasive wild boar. You can help by learning to recognize signs of their activity, and reporting sightings of wild boar at large.


Alberta Invasive Species Council – Squeal on Pigs!

Alberta Pork

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Wild Boar at large: an invasive species in Alberta

Report wild boar

If you see wild boar at large, or signs of wild boar activity:

  1. Safely take a picture.
  2. Note the location.
  3. Fill in our online reporting form:

Report a sighting