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B.C. confirms pigs on Vancouver Island golf course will be dealt with by conservation officers

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A Vancouver Island golf club is thrilled that conservation officers are finally stepping in to remove problem pigs from its grounds.

The pigs have been causing damage for months at the Cowichan Golf Club, and they're multiplying.

"It was two, and then it was four. I think the most I've ever seen out there is probably 12," said golfer Jon Rose.

So far, the pigs have not been threatening towards people. However, they've been causing thousands of dollars in damage to the course as they root around for food.

"Some people worry about their safety. Thank God that has not been issue," said Norm Jackson, head of the Cowichan Golf Club.

"It is very frustrating," he added.

Damage caused by the pigs is shown. (Submitted)

After tracking the pigs for months, the B.C. Ministry of Environment has confirmed that it's getting involved.

Conservation officers are working on a plan to remove the pigs, the province says. However, the animals' frequent visits have one researcher concerned.

'SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE'

Ryan Brook with the Canadian Wild Pig Research Project says that conservation officers may already be on the brink of losing control.

"I can't underscore how important it is to get in front of this immediately," he told CTV News on Wednesday.

"This is simply unacceptable."

Brooks helps catch pigs internationally, and he calls them the worst invasive large mammals on the planet.

Even if the pigs are domestic, Brooks says he considers them wild the minute they escape.

Pigs are quick to reproduce and can become aggressive, says the researcher.

"They're a public health nuisance. They spread disease to humans, to wildlife, to livestock and to pets," he said. "And they do tremendous damage."

The B.C. government hasn't shared details on how it plans to deal with the pigs in the Cowichan Valley yet.

The head of the golf club thinks they'll be trapped, something he hopes happens soon.

"Unless you're bugging them, they're not territorial yet," said Jackson, though he notes that people's safety is always on his mind. 

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