These were not feral hogs, nor were there 30-50 of them. Rather, the 50 adult pigs and 200 piglets pigs involved in this story out of Orange, Vermont, were once the property of Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm. They escaped a couple weeks ago through a break in their enclosure’s fence, proceeding to create a nuisance for drivers and pedestrians.
The Associated Press reports the whole town was in something of a tizzy over the pigs, which blocked traffic and chased residents walking on the road. Finally, farm workers and volunteers were able to lure and corral the loose pigs back to the farm, in part by leaving a trail of hot dog buns for the animals to follow. (Put a hog dog in those buns and I’d follow the trail, too.)
But the saga isn’t over. The county has fined Jeffries $81,955 for the trouble caused by pigs entering the roadways. He claims the fence was damaged by vandalism by a former employee, and that his farm was also robbed of tools in a likely related incident. The Vermont Agency Of Agriculture is on the case, telling the AP it’s working with the U.S. Department Of Agricultural Services to determine the appropriate amount of time to allow farmers to collect loosed livestock before the authorities step in. Agriculture secretary Anson Tebbetts notes the potential for livestock to become feral hogs is also a concern.