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.
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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