Bipartisan legislation increasing penalties for people who knowingly release feral hogs into the wild has received initial approval from the Missouri House. The bill, which is sponsored by Portageville State Representative Don Rone, increases the criminal penalty from a class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony:

The Missouri Department of Conservation, the Sierra Club, and all of Missouri’s commodity groups support Rone’s bill, along with the Missouri Parks Association (MPA). MPA says feral hogs are “a clear threat” to agriculture and wildlife, noting that they’ve damaged numerous state parks …. including Roaring River in Cassville and Lake Wappapello.