Pig doggers are worried about wild pig populations. State governments have released warnings about African swine fever, and the Northern Territory has warned that an outbreak could result in hunting restrictions and the eradication of the wild pig population. The Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association and its members are raising awareness of the issue and working to preserve the wild pig populations.
Helping to protect wild animals and ensuring that their populations thrive may be an admirable goal, but it reveals some confusing contradictions among supporters of Australia’s blood sport.
When PETA launched our pig dogging action alert, asking politicians to enforce the intentions and regulations of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and the Companion Animals Act 1998, we saw immense support. Our video on this subject has over 500,000 views, and thousands of Australians have taken the time to write to politicians.
We also saw outrage from supporters of the “sport”, including angry letters and phone calls as well as MPs speaking out in the media.
MP Bob Katter called us “crying, howling vegans” and said “preserving the life of the destructive foreign pest will ultimately result in the further demise of local native wildlife”. MP Shane Knuth also defended pig dogging in the most speciesist of terms by saying that “the feral pigs are killing cassowaries, digging up turtle eggs … and devastating the agricultural industry”.
The association released a statement of its own in response to PETA’s campaign and argued that its members need to hunt pigs with dogs, because “[y]ou need to have every single option at your disposal”.
One week, pig dogging supporters say that the wild pigs need to be killed, but the next week, they’re working to preserve the wild pig population and their “hunting access”. It’s a bizarre contradiction, and it reveals that pig doggers will spin any excuse they can think of to maintain the shamefully cruel and barbaric practice of forcing dogs to hunt wild pigs.
African swine fever is a disease that threatens all pigs in Australia, whether they’re living free in the wild, being taken care of at a sanctuary, or suffering on a crowded factory farm. It spreads quickly, and within a few days of infection, most pigs will die. It can spread when humans move wild pigs to populate new hunting grounds – something that pig doggers have been convicted of crimes for doing.
Helping pigs can be as easy as choosing vegan meals, not supporting factory farms, and speaking out against cruel pig dogging. So far, more than 11,000 people have joined us. Will you?