The C.A.S.H. Courier Newsletter
Spring 2012 Issue
Are "Bad" Feral Hogs Red Herrings?
Compiled by the C.A.S.H. Team
The feral hog is not considered to be “wildlife” by wildlife management
agencies, so they have no protection of a season or bag limit, any
particular weapon or tool can be used to kill them, and any manner of
killing is allowed. They have no protection from anyone at all.
Game management agencies nevertheless recommend firearms so they can collect
their Pittman-Robertson taxes. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
(NMDGF) published their Winter, 2012 newsletter featuring a cover article
designed to strip the hogs of any saving grace.
The hogs are
portrayed as “invading” the New Mexico rangeland. Some are supposed to
have descended from long-ago released or escaped domestic pigs, some have
migrated in from Texas, but most in eastern NM were escapees from hog
hunting facilities in Texas or imported purposely for “sport” hunting or
sadistic venting. If the term “aggravated cruelty” can apply anywhere,
it applies to feral hog hunting.
Government agencies are now encouraging
ranchers and other landowners to kill as many of the wild pigs as possible
because the population is increasing so fast that hunters alone cannot keep
up with the increasing numbers. In a mind-blowing example of blaming
the victim, USDA and NMDGF wildlife specialists accuse the feral hogs of
destroying agricultural crops, killing newborn livestock, contaminating
water sources, destroying wildlife habitat, spreading troublesome weeds, and
bringing diseases that affect livestock, and even dogs and cats. The
estimated 5 million wild swine in 35 states are accused of causing at least
one billion dollars in agricultural damage yearly.
Without looking into
the various agencies that have caused the problem, the article notes the
pigs’ “capacity for carnage,” describes them as “ravenous” and “aggressive,”
as they gobble up food resources needed by native deer and bear, as well as
smaller local mammals. Feral swine are even reputed to be “implicated
in the notorious California spinach food poisoning case of 2006.” The
pigs are being blamed for practically everything but the felling of the
World Trade Center.
The cruel irony of blaming these animals
for such devastating and diverse damage is, of course, that humans have
brought this upon themselves. Not all humans, but the small minority
of hunting humans and their lackeys in various states’ wildlife “management”
agencies, DNRs, and the like. The latter’s predilection to cater to
sport hunters has led to countless cases of mismanagement of wildlife and
the environment, whether it be the eradication of natural predators like
wolves and coyotes to leave more deer for hunters to shoot, or the
deliberate introduction of wolves to areas where they would impact ranchers,
with the end result being a delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species
List and a hunting season opening in the northwest. The business of
hunting has wildlife managers focused on increasing populations of less than
1% of all species at the expense of the 99%!
In virtually every case,
the welfare of local wildlife and the desires of the majority of humans who
prefer to let wild animals live in peace, and have peace themselves from the
incessant din of discharged firearms, are ignored – just so a few
troglodytes can realize their bloodthirsty fantasies.
Wildlife article claims that feral hog hunting is popular in New Mexico
because there is no kill limit, an open season year-round, any type of
weapon is allowed, and no license is required. This anything-goes
attitude not only dooms the hogs to pure sadism wherever they roam, but
seems to have engendered a kind of mindless ferocity in the psyches of some
hunters. Horrifying photos and videos of atrocious cruelty exist that show
frenzied attacks on the hapless animals. Reports have come in to C.A.S.H. of
people stabbing them repeatedly over and over in what can only honestly be
called a sick blood lust.
Pigs as a species are known to be intelligent,
social creatures. Even the otherwise antagonistic NM Wildlife article
credits them with being innovative in their efforts to find water and other
resources. Taking advantage of the hogs’ natural sociable behavior, hunters
use one member of a group – called sounders – to locate the rest. A
few feral hogs will be caught in a trap, most of them “euthanized,” and one
female kept. They will then follow the lone female pig to the next
group’s home ground and massacre them all at once by cravenly shooting them
from low-flying planes. Adding insult to injury, the one who leads
them to the pack is called the “Judas pig.”
Specialist Ron Jones justifies this cruelty by calling the proliferation of
wild hogs in New Mexico “a nightmare in the making.” But who made this
nightmare? Certainly not the hogs, who did not ask to be brought into
the area for hunters. And Jones admits that most were “intentionally
released for hunting purposes.”
Wildlife agents complain that lack of
manpower and money hobble their efforts to handle the hogs. Why did no
one in a position of authority think of this possibility beforehand?
Like the introduction of goats to the Galapagos and rabbits to Australia,
mankind has repeatedly made disastrous errors of this type. In this
case, though, just for the depraved pleasure of a few people – “sport
hunters” – the state game agencies have permitted the introduction of a
species that is known to propagate quickly and eat a wide range of food. In
another instance of the environment and numerous species being negatively
affected by the hunting business, wildlife agencies note that the diet of
the imported hogs includes frogs, lizards, snakes, birds and their eggs, and
even deer fawns. We’ve learned never to trust what they say,
considering their agenda, and we will be checking into this for the next
With farmers and ranchers across Eastern New Mexico complaining
that feral swine are ravaging range and farmland, belatedly, state game
agencies are trying to rectify the problem. How? By killing as
many of the animals as possible. The hogs have no legal protection as
they are classified as “feral domestic livestock.” NMDGF does not have
jurisdiction over them. Most “on the ground” control is by USDA
Wildlife Services, known killers of any number of wild species, from birds
to wolves. Although they claim to have little money, they plan to
develop an eradication program with the help of “stakeholders” from around
Meanwhile, the state legislature has outlawed commercial feral
hog hunting, which means that a fee cannot be charged to hunt them in NM.
The same law also made it illegal to move feral hogs around the state.
Limiting their commerce-related movement was intended to remove the
incentive of financial gain and reduce the possibility of establishing new
feral hog communities. But the natural increase in the fertile hog
population means that the state game agencies will inevitably continue the
killing themselves, as well as asking landowners to join in.
of the article, an avid hunter himself, recommends a 30-caliber or larger
firearm to “safely and humanely dispatch” the often quite large hogs.
Think of all that money going into the Conservation Fund. Every
firearm and bullet expended will provide more revenue for the continuation
of mismanagement and extreme animal cruelty. The author of the article
encourages readers to kill feral hogs by calling it “a challenging and
rewarding experience that also helps protect wildlife and the environment.”
Jones says that the people who imported the hogs for hunting don’t care
about the damage they are doing to the environment. And apparently, no
one in government cares either, except for the contracts they are getting
and the revenue. On behalf of the much-maligned feral hogs, C.A.S.H.
asks, “Who among you cares about their suffering?” The NMDGF and state
legislators need to be told that WE do, and we will not be distracted by
their hypocritical use of these innocent animals as red herrings.
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