(Jefferson City)–The state Department of Agriculture was criticized by two southern Missouri lawmakers during a Monday House budget hearing, over the controversial issue of feral hogs. State Representative Robert Ross, who chairs the Government Oversight Committee, questions why M-D-A Director Chris Chinn sent a letter to the U-S Forest Service, supporting their decision to close the Mark Twain National Forest to feral hog hunting:

Ross says his Texas County constituents support eradicating feral hogs, by hunting. The Conservation Department says allowing residents to hunt feral hogs has increased the number of animals. As for Chinn and M-D-A, they worry that feral hogs could bring African swine fever to Missouri.