Feral pigs are a very real and costly menace to producers the Gympie region, especially for macadamia farmers. The RSPCA wants them hunted more humanely.
Feral pigs are a very real and costly menace to producers the Gympie region, especially for macadamia farmers. The RSPCA wants them hunted more humanely.

Farmer responds to RSPCA call for humane feral pig hunting

AMAMOOR farmer Les Gain said he had lost about a quarter of his income from his macadamia orchard to pigs in the last four years.

The RSPCA is calling for tougher laws to stop the inhumane slaughter of feral pigs in Queensland saying online videos show horrendous acts of cruelty.

Mr Gain has told the ABC Sunshine Coast today while he mostly relied on traps to capture pigs, he also used "responsible" pig hunters to protect his property.

"We try to avoid the ones that are gung-ho," he said.

"You can usually tell when you talk to them what they're after - they talk about trophy hunting and ask how big are the pigs.

"They give clues away," he added.

Mr Gain told the ABC he lost a large proportion of his crop when pigs foraged for fallen nuts at night and had spent "far more time than I should" on feral pigs.

However, he did not believe the pests should be treated inhumanly when captured and killed.

"I don't think there is any reason to prolong [their death]," he said.

Mr Gain said he believes problem pig hunters were usually those who enter private land uninvited searching for a trophy kill.

The RSPCA has reported videos of animal cruelty with hunters using dogs to maul pigs for long periods.

While he had been on many pig hunts, he had never seen a dog capture or kill a pig.

"The dogs find the pigs... they are very good at that, it's one aspect of it that works very, very well," he said.

"I've never seen one catch a pig at all."

Mr Gain told the ABC his property had its own CCTV system and up to eight pigs were visiting per night.

He said the government needs to reduce the number of the feral pigs living and breeding state forests and national parks.

Controlling wild pigs is just one of many on-farm biosecurity practises Central Queensland farmers are undertaking. Photo Daniel Burdon / Rural Weekly RRW070611dpig1
Controlling wild pigs is just one of many on-farm biosecurity practises Central Queensland farmers are undertaking. Photo Daniel Burdon / Rural Weekly RRW070611dpig1 Daniel Burdon

QUEENSLAND'S politicians have called for hunters who kill wild pigs inhumanely to be prosecuted.

The RSPCA said in parts of rural Queensland there was a "culture" of inhumanely and illegally killing wild pigs - including posting videos of cruelty to social media.

RSPCA Queensland chief inspector Daniel Young told the ABC the pigs had to be killed humanely.

"We're seeing people run over pigs in quad bikes, four-wheel drives, dogs being used to maul pigs for long periods, animals being stabbed in areas that aren't killing them immediately, you name it, unfortunately, we've probably got a video," he said.

LNP agriculture Shadow Minister Deb Frecklington said feral pigs needed to be controlled as one of Queensland's most destructive pests.

"Pig hunters play an extremely important role in the control of this feral animal in Queensland and the majority of pig hunters are diligent and professional in their hunting and killing methods," she said.

"The LNP does not condone animal cruelty and expects the industry to use humane methods when destroying feral pigs.

"People doing the wrong thing should be penalised, but professional feral pig hunters should not be tarred with the same brush."

Queensland Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne did not respond to questions on Monday but environment minister Steven Miles told the ABC people who carry out animal cruelty should be prosecuted.

"I would urge the RSPCA, if they have evidence of cruelty, they have a role in investigating that themselves, but if they need more support from the Government to do that, then they should raise those concerns with us," he said.

In Queensland it is legal to hunt wild pigs with dogs, but the animals must be killed humanely.