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updated: 3/31/2014 4:06 PM

Illinois cracking down on feral swine populations

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois officials have announced new rules about release, transportation and harvest of feral swine.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Monday that the new rules will deter people from bringing feral swine into Illinois to promote hunting them. They'll also help the agency better manage feral swine. The agency says it wants to prevent a culture of hunting wild hogs from developing.

The IDNR says the animals can spread disease and damage wildlife habitats, wetlands and crops. State officials say they've worked with federal officials to eliminate a population of feral swine in Clay, Effingham, Fayette and Marion counties.

The new rules make it illegal to hunt or shoot feral swine outside of certain deer seasons. Only hunters who legally hunt deer during those seasons can shoot wild hogs.

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