Oklahoma Man Faces Several Felonies Over Feral Hogs
BEAVER COUNTY, Oklahoma - Forty pit bulls and a dozen wild hogs led to a 40 acre farm being quarantined and have state officials on alert. The hogs tested positive for rabies.
“We started to investigate why feral hogs would be in that area,” Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture Captain Jerry Flowers said.
And it didn't take the State Department of Agriculture long to find out the reason. They say Wesley Kirton loaded up wild hogs from one part of Oklahoma and brought them to the panhandle where they don't exist, a felony and a big threat to the area.
However, that's not all. What Kirton did once he got them there is just barbaric.
“He released these feral hogs for the purpose of him training dogs to kill hogs as well as to provide the opportunity for him to hunt them in the panhandle so he wouldn't have to go to other states or areas in Oklahoma to do that,” Flowers said.
Investigators say Kirton had 40 pit bull dogs and used them to hunt the hogs and used the hogs to train his dogs.
“He was taking his pit bulls and throwing them into the trailer with these hogs,” Flowers said. “Either the hog would kill the dogs or the dogs would kill the hogs.”
The hogs tested positive for pseudorabies, a disease state officials say they eradicated in the 80's. The Oklahoma panhandle is home to most of the state's swine and feedlots, and if this disease gets out, it could pose a serious threat.
“It will have an impact on the industry itself and cause our prices internationally to go down nationwide and also prevent exports and just the price to go up,” Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture Dr. Justin Roach said.
Kirton also happens to be a transporter for many of the state's largest swine and cattle producers. His 40 acre farm has been quarantined, but if the disease pops up on other farms drastic measures will have to be taken.
“It would cost the producer, the company and the government and resources to go in there and do disease testing and get it under control,” Roach said.
Kirton is behind bars in Beaver County, and so far has been charged with cruelty to animals.