A wild pig’s worst nightmare: Pig Brig gaining traction internationally, including Canada

Wild pigs have been an issue in Canada over the last 25 years but a simple looking trap may be part of the solution to the problem.

Called the “Pig Brig”, it’s big net that is 20-feet in diameter, which can be set up by one person in about an hour. To catch them, a pig simply walks underneath the mesh and once they’re in, there is no way out. It’s also portable so it can fit into a backpack.

Aaron Sumrall is the Director of Outreach, Education, and Research at Pig Brig, the U.S. company that makes the traps of the same name. The saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” and that was the case for the “Pig Brig”.

Sumrall explained the system was inspired by an ongoing project in Guam, where they were tasked with removing non-native wild boars from the area. There were a number of challenges, including the cost of transporting the fabricated metal traps, which were approximately $15-thousand a month; having to use existing vegetation to set up the traps due to a law prohibiting poles being driven into the ground due to existing World War 2-era ordinates; and the boars going underneath the netting instead of going through the metal trap door. “It was basically an epiphany moment there, it was like ‘Well what do we even need the technology and the gate for?’” said Sumrall.

He noted the trap is widely used in the United States and its also gaining traction in Canada. “It seems like there’s much more of an interest that’s moving forward in Canada to make sure that they are on the cusp of the front side of making sure that pig problem is eradicated rather than trying to get to the capacity where we are in the South, where we try to make sure we just kind of hold it steady – we’re pretty much past the point of eradication here, where Canada has the opportunity to maintain an eradication process.” Sumrall added.

Since the first unit was sold in September of 2020, Sumrall says the product is being used in 35 countries with about 7-thousand units sold. It did come with its fair share of skepticism, mainly how could a net trap keep a wild pig contained. “It took a little bit of convincing, some I guess the right places, the right people, to see the durability, the strength, and the ability to hold those pigs was there and once that skepticism started to wean off, it went so big so fast we didn’t anticipate that.” he noted.

While the trap specializes in dealing with wild pigs, he notes they’re in the research & development stage of similar traps for other animals. “We’d get quite a few calls from around the world asking us because of the confidence in how well it works with pigs,” he said. “To be quite honest with you the pig market is going so fast right now that yeah, we got plans to move to other species but we’re going to make sure we do it in a quality manner, that we’re not going to jump into another species before we’ve had time to actually put it in the field, test it, see what needs to be done or if there’s any modifications to that system.” Sumrall explained.

The cost for one is a few thousand dollars but Sumrall says it’s a worthwhile investment. More information about the Pig Brig can be found on their website.

More from Saskagtoday.com