The Australian current affairs show 7.30 recently exposed the dreadful world of “pig dogging” to the nation. But this sickening pastime is nothing new―it has been happening in the Australian bush for many years.
Pig dogging is a legal activity in Australia, and the ineffectual guidelines which are in place were clearly flouted in the video footage shown by the 7.30 report. Whilst hunters are allowed to locate and flush out animals with packs of dogs, they are legally not allowed to have the dogs attack the terrified pigs. Of course, even for those hunters who follow these legal restrictions, the terror and stress that a pig would feel while being chased down by a pack of dogs is only too obvious.
Pigs are intelligent animals who have managed to survive against all odds in certain areas where they have been introduced by humans. Hunters who use pig dogging claim that they are attempting to control pig populations, despite the fact that hunting is simply not a successful method of animal control. In truth, hunters often talk about the adrenaline rush they get from killing pigs, suggesting that it is simply the enjoyment of the act that makes then continue. Recent cases in which hunters reportedly released pigs into national parks so that they could hunt them down again highlight the fact that this is about killing animals for sport, not for population control.
As the video footage in the 7.30 story shows, not only do many hunters use their dogs to savage and slowly tear apart screaming, terrified animals, some also even catch and confine pigs for the specific purpose of training the dogs to kill. Workers in animal shelters have reported that piglets have been brought in who were taken from friends or relatives who had slaughtered their mother and then brought the piglets home to throw to their dogs. Piglets may also be left by their dead mother’s body to slowly starve to death.
The terrified screams of pigs being savaged by dogs as hunters bear down on them with knives leaves no doubt that no part of this hunt is humane. The RSPCA and many other animal groups in Australia have spoken out against pig dogging and called for a ban on the use of dogs in hunting in any form. The dogs themselves may also be injured or even killed during these attacks.
In New South Wales, not only has Premier Barry O’Farrell opened the national parks and state forests up to hunters, he has also proposed amendments to the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation (which is regulated by the pro-hunting Game Council), which would allow children as young as 12 to hunt unsupervised with dogs and knives. We all need to speak up to tell our government that teaching children to chase, torture and kill animals is cruel. Pig dogging is a blight on our reputation as a humane and developed society, and it must stop.
Posted by Ashley Fruno