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‘Refuges’ No Sanctuary for Feral Pigs

Written by PETA | July 12, 2011

Michael Lusk of the National Wildlife Refuge System isn’t exactly thinking outside the (ammo) box when it comes to managing populations of wild pigs. Lusk advocates shooting pigs, and some lawmakers agree with him. Pennsylvania and Tennessee are making it easier for hunters to shoot wild pigs, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation allowing hunters to shoot pigs from helicopters. Now, officials at the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina are pushing for pig-hunting restrictions to be lifted there as well. 

Photo: Blue moon in her eyes/cc by 2.0

If you’re thinking that a hailstorm of bullets isn’t exactly the most humane way of managing wild pig populations, you’re not alone. PETA is encouraging wildlife refuges, as well as any other areas where pigs are unwelcome, to make simple adjustments, such as erecting inexpensive fencing and sealing trash containers in areas that the pigs frequent. As long as the environment is attractive for pigs, killing will not solve the problem because more pigs will simply move in from surrounding areas. “This is a problem that humans have created,” said Stephanie Bell of PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department. “And unfortunately, the pigs are paying the price.”

You can send a polite e-mail to the Currituck National Wildlife Refuge and ask officials to choose humane options for handling pigs. For advice on peacefully coexisting with wildlife, see PETA’s “Living in Harmony” page.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • DarkFox says:

    How else should we manage the pigs? You argue that even if the pigs are killed more will move in, but just making the area inhospitable does not get rid of them; it just makes them move on to damage other areas. Plus they are social animals, where one pig is there is many. Fencing is a ridiculous solution. You would have to buy possibly miles of fencing for a single area, and it would have to be inspected for holes on a regular basis. Sealing trash containers is never a bad idea, but feral hogs eat more than just people’s waste. They will turn up the ground, dig up roots, and eat the eggs and CHICKS of ground-nesting birds. Trap-Neuter-Release isn’t good either. It doesn’t work for cats and it won’t work for pigs. As saddening as it sounds, the only solution is to shoot them everytime you get a chance.

  • EasternVI says:

    Carla, honestly do you have any knowledge of what you speak. I don’t know of anyone who would hunt hogs with a dog, it isn’t the dog doing the mauling, the dog would be mauled by the hog. Again, educate yourself before you comment.

  • EasternVi says:

    As usual, I am sure the posters on this subject have thoroughly educated themselves as to the issues of this situation – not, they are letting a group whose main interest is bilking them of their “donation” money to maintain their salaried jobes for their information. First, hogs were introduced to North America by the Spainards, just like the today’s wild horses, they are not native to this continent. Secondly, I am sure those of you who have expressed an opinion but never set foot off the pavement (and probably have their posterior parked on a leather seating unit as they typed) are aware that the average hog has 2 litters of a year of 8 to 12 piglets on average. For the sake of math, let’s use an average of 10 piglets per litter. That means where there was 1 hog, in 12 months there will be 21 hogs (they will have their first litters at 6 months of age. Let’s take that another year out and those 21 reproduce and have 20 piglets in the year each, there are now 420 pigs where there was 1 just 24 months earlier. Out another year, the pig population has grown to 8400 in 3 years from the original one vying for the same feed as the original one had 3 years prior. In 5 years, that one original pig would have 336,000 descendents. Does that help paint a picture for you PETA types who believe everything you read because you have no actual knowledge of the subjects you feel qualified to comment on. Guess what pigs eat – meat. When their food supply gets short, guess where they are going to turn for food. There have been several instances of perfect murders committed around the world by feeding the corpse to the hogs – absolutely no evidence is left within a few hours. Coming from someone who has been run up the side of a barn by a sow that was having a litter of pigs, and my safe haven was a 2×6 piece of lumber about 6 inches beyond her snout, hogs do kill humans. Can any of you pro hog people tell me a real life experience concerning your contact with hogs which qualifies you to be able to comment intelligently on this subject?

  • Spook says:

    Have any of you ever been in an area with feral hogs before? I guess not these creatures are very dangerous and destructive. I treat these animals as I would treat an intruder on my property, wich they are intruders, and I dispatch them appropriately. If u have ever been on the teeth end of a hog or lost thousands of dollars in a crop you would understand.

  • RC says:

    what do you call it when a pack of wolves ham strings a young cow moose that is trying to protect her young???and then they eat the mother and calf… what about that mtn lion that kills a deer a week and sometimes can kill 50 sheep in one night just for pleasure… In my mind the hunting public are the best environmentalist out there…because they watch, monitor the hunting land and make sure that there is a good healthy balance of animals out there…I am a hunter and yes we care about the habitat for wildlife…and I speak for the millions of hunters out there…and wild hogs…we can control them and we do it our way and PETA…you can seal the trash cans and lets see how that solves the hog problem…mother nature likes to maintain a balance and the hunting public is that balance but Peta…you guys are way out there…too far from the balance of nature… I don’t believe that just because you are anti-hunt that you should try to force your views and ways on the rest of the world…if I like to hunt and manage the wildlife and habitat then I should be able to do so…and yes…we do want a set of rules and guidelines so that we can be better managers of our environment…and this we do by generating tax money from hunting supplies/equipment that we purchase along with the extra fees from our hunting lisence purchaces…this is how we pay for our game biologist etc. etc.

  • Jack Hallowatt says:

    Feral pigs have the word FERAL in their name for a reason. These pigs are exotic non native species and destroying the habitat they were introduced to. There are NO native species of pigs in North America except for the peccary, but they are not true pigs, and are not very dangerous. The wild boars discussed above are disease spreading, omnivorous (they will eat both vegetation and any meat they can hunt or scavenge), and are extremely aggressive, attacking anything they view as a threat to their dominance (which is pretty much everything). These pigs must be stopped to help save the environment and the native species that reside in them.

  • HUNTER3 says:

    I am with HUNTER 1 and 2 as long as they are eaten or at least donated to a food bak i see no problem in shooting them. I am an avid hunter myself and I hunt to provide food for my family, weather it be venison, wild pig, turkey, duck or rabbit. I frown upon those who trophy hunt, but in the case of feral pigs lets face it they are destructive invasive and aggressive not to mention severely over populated, the humane thing to do is to hunt them, huting is humane provided you’re a good shot, like I am 🙂

  • critterlover says:

    There is a difference between humanely maintaining an overpopulation and potentially wiping out an entire species in an area. When will people learn that there are consequences for taking a link out of the chain of the eco system? In some ways we are paying for this now with the hogs in texas…years ago people did the same with wolves “oh they’re killing our cattle lets kill them” rather than rationally coming up with a way to manage the population many people killed until they couldn’t find any more wolves. Now in many places there are few where their use to be several packs…hmm I wonder why there are so many wild hogs and overpopulation of other prey animals? how about we relocate some wolves from places where they are overpopulated and even it out? Oh and about the helicopter statement…I DID watch the reputable video of farmers doing it in Texas and they did just “rain” bullets down on the hogs, the guy shot at least 50 times and didn’t kill one on the video. He did however probably injure some which is completely inhumane.

  • HUNTER2 says:

    These pigs are very dangerous they attack humans and destroy crops,they breed so fast they must be dealt with..i am proud to be protecting my crops and my state when I shoot a dangerous Feral Hog..they feel no pain and are instantly suffering involved.

  • ameeta bhalla says:

    humans who shoot wild animals ( any wild living animal) are pigs !!!!!!

  • FrankSense says:

    Um… to be frank Carla* (pardon the pun) you are watching sensationalized – possibly outdated video. It is illegal to hunt with the dogs in Texas. I do not know other states, but most have the same criminal laws.

  • Hunter says:

    William, I am with you. I have seen the damage these pigs can do and it is NOT pretty. Anu, part of sharing mother earth is population control. They may not be consciously doing it, but all predators (wolves, lions, hyenas, tigers, etc.) kill other things. The “perfect world” for PETA is a place where there are no carnivores. That just isn’t practical. Mayur, these pigs are by NO means helpless. Pigs can be brutal. Pigs can be mean. And we ARE being human. As long as the hunting is not done just to kill, there is nothing wrong with it. A lot of these pigs can be eaten. Carla, you can’t use dogs to hunt from a helicopter. I have a coonhound and yes, I “hunt” them, but I don’t actually kill the coons. We have our own trick for making the dogs think they won without having to actually kill a treed animal. But that is not the point. With a skilled hunter, the animals die instantly. If you gave me the choice between starving to death and being shot and instantly killed, I would pick the latter. Most hunters don’t use dogs. I don’t understand why hunting is so inhumane. A lion can go out and kill an antelope for food and PETA doesn’t have a problem with it, but I can go out and kill a deer for food and I am a barbarian.

  • Carla* says:

    Frank I did watch and was discussed in which most hunters are handling the feral pig problem. Using dogs to maul them is hardly humane!! Shame on them!! Please use methods that are not cruel, that is all we’re asking.

  • FrankSense says:

    Listen, the fact is these feral pigs DESTROY everything, including vegetables that are for our consumption. The deterrents you said will not work, they destroy those too. I am against over hunting these pigs, but if it’s either hunt some or lose crops – which BTW, raise YOUR costs to eat humanely and harms other animals, hunting them seems the most humane for all. Also – FYI, they do not rain a hail of bullets on the pigs. It’s a simple shot. Please watch video of this practice before you comment like this.

  • Mayur says:

    Let us spare innocent pigs & be a human!!why should we accumulate so much curse,blood,& tears of helpless animals,are we made up for this cause or for some better cause,we should hate ourself thinking that even wildest animal must be more sensitive to others pain then us,pls stop this treatment to pigs!

  • anu says:

    why is that its always animals who have to pay the price for the problems created by humans…we are the ones who are destroying the earth and behave as if we own it…high time we learnt to share the mother earth with other living beings and stop monopolizing it…

  • A says:

    Please choose humane options for handling pigs.

  • ambar says:

    please use humane options for handling pigs and other animals.

  • Tere Barreett says:

    Their only crime is wandering into the parts of their own environ into which we have moved. At least give them a chance.

  • William says:

    Are you SERIOUS?! The only reason that controlled hunting of pigs is being done is because they destroy plants – the things you guys want everyone to eat. They are also WILD – they will still eat anything and fences and sealing trash cans? – LITTLE to NO good. Seriously – come here to Texas, and actually see what the REAL damage is being done. Right now, you’re spouting off before doing research. And you’re looking like fools for it.

  • Peter says:

    Human misbehavior encourages and enables animals to become pests, then your solution is to kill the animal? If we are the ultimate cause of the problem why don’t we change/fix what we do first before killing an animal which is simply taking advantage of our own misbehavior’s.

  • tom moore says:

    They need all the help they can get too.

  • Mukesh Tanwar says:

    I am Mukesh from India. I request the authorities to give protective shelter to these pigs instead of allowing to kill them as killing them will not solve the problem created by humans because man won’t change his anti-nature habits and killing can’t not go on forever besides its no solution.

  • Mukesh Tanwar says:

    Please help taking care of these animals instead of killing them as killing them is not a solution.

  • Kim Smith says:

    An inexpensive adjustment that could potentially save a number of defenseless creatures.

  • Nancy L. Goodness says:

    please choose humane options for handling pigs – thank you!