According to Australian Banana Growers' Council deputy chair, Leon Collins, feral pigs are spreading Panama TR4, a devastating fungal disease with no treatment. The disease has spread to four farms in the Tully region in Queensland.
"Once you get it on your property that's it, you cannot plant bananas there ever again. You have to grow another crop," he said. "Pigs have been the major factor of spreading it between these farms. Pigs know no boundaries."
Bananas are Australia's largest horticulture industry with an estimated value of about AUD$1 billion; most of the industry is in far north Queensland, which also has problems with feral pigs.
Banana growers and the state government have jointly funded a control programme since 2017 which has seen 6000 feral pigs taken out. The programme costs about $160,747 per year and funding will run out over the next year.
Tvnz.co.nz, reports on national feral pig management coordinator Heather Channon says authorities are in the midst of putting together updated estimates. Dr Channon is developing a national action plan for feral pig management, which is due for completion by the end of January.