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Manhattan Politician Targets Wild Boar Ban

By  Sonja Sharp and Mathew Katz | June 20, 2013 1:17pm 

 Glick's bill banned wild boars, like this one, in New York State.
Glick's bill banned wild boars, like this one, in New York State.
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MANHATTAN — Pumba will have to do his business elsewhere. 

Pooping pigs have invaded upstate New York, posing a danger to the city's water supply by defecating in and around upstate reservoirs, according to a Downtown state assemblywoman.

In response, the state Assembly and Senate passed a bill introduced by Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick that bans the sale and possession of giant, razor-toothed wild boar, a move the politician who represents the West Village and TriBeCa said she hopes will prevent "potential devastation" to New Yorkers' health and safety wrought by the meddlesome swine. 

The porcine menace originated with sport hunters, who have spent years importing the fearsome, 400-pound Eurasian boar and breeding them on upstate game reserves.

Some of the porkers managed to escape and are now running amok in 36 New York counties — and having babies in six of them, the state Senate was told.

"One of the things that caught our attention is that there's been some concern around feral pigs around New York City reservoirs — they can contaminate the reservoirs and that raised the bill to a little higher level," said Theresa Swidorski, Glick's legislative director.

"They do that by pooping," she added.

"For several years, this environmental and public health concern has been growing," Glick said in a statement released Wednesday. "I am thrilled that my efforts to sound the alarm have resulted in passage of this critical legislation."

Though feral pigs are rarer than Iberian ham in Manhattan, the pesky porkers have devastated upstate agriculture. Swidorski added that encountering the giant pigs in the wild could be trouble for unsuspecting New Yorkers.   

"You could be camping and run into one of these babies and it would not be pleasant," she said.

The feral pigs have also started interbreeding with the local swine and are now threatening native species. 

Glick's bill passed the Asssembly on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday.

"With its passage in the Senate, the bill now awaits the governor's signature to permanently control this destructive and dangerous species," Glick said in a statement.