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Three men fined over Namadgi pig hunt

By Charlotte Harper - 15 August 2016 10

Wild pig

Three men who were caught in late June pig-hunting with dogs in a four-wheel-drive and escorted from Namadgi National Park by rangers have been fined more than $5400.

A joint investigation byy ACT Policing’s Rural Patrol and the ACT Parks & Conservation Service into the actions of the three men has led to the identification of a fourth man, who is now being investigated for illegal hunting in a reserve.

The second investigation relates to four incidences of illegal hunting in a reserve between February and July this year.

Parks & Conservation rangers run feral pig control program using fenced pig traps and surveillance cameras, cameras that also capture footage of hunting activity in reserves.

While four-wheel-drive vehicles and hunting dogs cause disturbances to native flora and fauna in the park, a further problem is that the hunters will go to great lengths to ensure a steady supply of prey for their sport.

According to an ABC report in 2014, illegal hunters have been known to capture breeding sows and remove their ears before re-releasing them, thus making it harder for hunting dogs to catch them on future raids.

Feral pigs are the descendants of domestic pigs that arrived in Australia with the First Fleet. They are hairier than domestic pigs, with straighter tails. An adult female feral pig typically weighs between 50kg and 60kg, while a male will be between 80kg and 100kg with extremely large beasts reaching up to 260kg.

Feral pigs are considered a pest because of their selective feeding, trampling and rooting for tubers and critters underground, as well as predation on, competition with, or disturbance of a range of native animal species. The pigs prey on earthworms, insects, amphibians, reptiles, ground-nesting birds, small mammals, freshwater crayfish, frogs, turtles and their eggs.

By wallowing and rooting around waterways, they destroy vegetation which provides food and nesting sites for native wildlife and helps prevent soil erosion. Water quality is also affected and their diggings may spread undesirable plant and animal species, and plant diseases.

The ACT Parks and Conservation Service encourages residents to report dangerous and illegal activity in the ACT’s parks and reserves.

The service’s regional manager, Brett McNamara, said the recent fines sent a clear message to the community that pig hunting was unacceptable.

“Illegal hunting poses a risk to other park users, wildlife and native habitat,” he said.

“As a result of our partnership with the Rural Patrol, ACT Policing has issued a number of infringement notices in recent years to offenders detected in and around Canberra’s parks and reserves. We will continue to send a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

“I’d also like to encourage the general public to report illegal hunting and other illegal activities, such as dangerous driving or vandalism, to help keep our parks and reserves safe for everyone and free from damage. Reporting this kind of behaviour does make a difference.”

Anybody with information relating to any illegal activities within nature reserves is encouraged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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10 Responses to
Three men fined over Namadgi pig hunt
1
Charlotte Harper 2:28 pm
15 Aug 16
#

I met the editor of Sydney-based Bacon Busters magazine a few times back in the day. Described as the “icon on the hog-hunting scene in this country”, it still includes a section called Babes & Boars. He spent his long weekends hunting feral pigs for farmers on rural properties (which is important work, mind you), not in national parks.
I looked it up today to see if it’s still around and discovered it is, and it has competition now, Boar it up Ya, “The Only Pig Hunting Magazine With Grunt”. See #pighuntingaustralia on Twitter and you’ll get an idea of what the magazines are like.

2
No_Nose 5:01 pm
15 Aug 16
#

Perhaps the ACT could consider licensed hunting in State Forests as has been running in Victoria and NSW for many years now with great success.

3
Meconium 6:36 pm
16 Aug 16
#

No_Nose said :

Perhaps the ACT could consider licensed hunting in State Forests as has been running in Victoria and NSW for many years now with great success.

We’re not a state, so we don’t have state forests. We have wildlife reserves and we have a large national park.

4
creative_canberran 7:54 pm
16 Aug 16
#

Meconium said :

No_Nose said :

Perhaps the ACT could consider licensed hunting in State Forests as has been running in Victoria and NSW for many years now with great success.

We’re not a state, so we don’t have state forests. We have wildlife reserves and we have a large national park.

The ACT has three forests called state forests, Urriara, Gibraltar and Pierces. There’s other forests that are just called forests like Kowen.

These are distinct areas from the urban reserves that form Canberra Nature Park, the wildlife centric nature reserves like Tidbinbilla, and Namadgi National Park which further includes designated wilderness zones.

5
No_Nose 9:04 pm
16 Aug 16
#

Meconium said :

No_Nose said :

Perhaps the ACT could consider licensed hunting in State Forests as has been running in Victoria and NSW for many years now with great success.

We’re not a state, so we don’t have state forests. We have wildlife reserves and we have a large national park.

It was an example. I believe it is being rolled out into National Parks in NSW as well.

6
justin heywood 5:39 pm
18 Aug 16
#

I’m no fan of feral pigs, and I am aware of the terrible damage done by pigs and horses in National Parks. But the common method (as I understand it) of hunting them seems cruel.

I went on a pig hunt some years ago (not in the ACT). After the guy’s dogs found, chased and pulled down the pig (by its ears mainly), the ‘hunter’ came up and repeatedly stabbed the pig until it was dead. This all took some time, and there was much sqealing, pain and blood involved.
Fatal for the pig, the dogs are occasionally killed as well, which is why they are often armoured; only the most tough and aggressive animals make good pig dogs.

Surely a bullet to the head would be more humane.

7
Affirmative Action M 9:14 am
19 Aug 16
#

Amateur shooters are pretty useless for pig eradication. As an ex shooter I can tell you that the first rule of shooters is to quietly release the small or immature piglets so they can grow up to be big pigs. This ensures an on going supply of animals to hunt.

8
TimboinOz 8:56 am
20 Aug 16
#

The problem for sporting shooters is that shooting pigs or other ferals in national parks / reserves is that it is a very poor system of control compared to integrated control systems.

It CAN help farmers, so they should stick to that.

The ACT should not license hunting in our reserves and nature parks such places.

I used to hunt and only ferals, until I married.

9
Grimm 11:55 am
20 Aug 16
#

Affirmative Action Man said :

Amateur shooters are pretty useless for pig eradication. As an ex shooter I can tell you that the first rule of shooters is to quietly release the small or immature piglets so they can grow up to be big pigs. This ensures an on going supply of animals to hunt.

I can tell by that outright lie that you are not an “ex shooter” at all, and more likely a lying animal libber or pretend, clueless Environmentalist making up nonsense to try and make hunters look bad. Nobody needs to release pigs. It just doesn’t happen. The “ABC news investigation” of 2014 was outright debunked as a lie and sensationalism by a NSW Parliamentary enquiry. Pigs are in plague proportions. The last place you would run out of a steady supply is Namadgi, since it is essentially a breeding sanctuary for them.

justin heywood said :

I went on a pig hunt some years ago (not in the ACT). After the guy’s dogs found, chased and pulled down the pig (by its ears mainly), the ‘hunter’ came up and repeatedly stabbed the pig until it was dead. This all took some time, and there was much sqealing, pain and blood involved.

Unfortunately you went with somebody not very good at it. I hunt pigs with dogs regularly. Yes, the dogs hold the pig, and it squeals. The killing of the pig should take a single push of the knife, through the chest just behind and below the front shoulder, through the heart and is all over in a few seconds. It isn’t cruel, and I’d wager by percentages it is about THE most effective way of controlling pig numbers. I’d catch 10 times as many pigs with dogs as I would ever be able to shoot. Well trained hunting dogs just scent and find them in places a shooter would just walk past.

In any case, the parks statements in this article are nonsense. Their “Baiting and trapping programs” are virtually non-existent, and completely ineffective. Dropping a few 1080 baits once a year and setting up 3 pig traps is not much of an effort. I know several people with properties that adjoin Namadgi, and the place is the bane of their existence. ALL of the feral pests come out of that park. From pigs, to wild dogs, horses, foxes, cats, deer etc. Property owners shoot pests off their land, and a day later a new bunch have moved in from the Nat Park, where they are not controlled. They are fighting an unwinnable battle because parks would prefer to ignore the problem, or flat out lie and pretend it doesn’t exist, rather than let people volunteer their time and money to hunt in the park and help solve the problem.

I’d love to know how a couple of guys and some dogs have a negative impact on flora and fauna? They are there removing one of the most destructive pests we have in this country, and the park is already full of wild dogs. At least these ones will most likely have had GPS trackers attached to them so they don’t contribute to the dog numbers in there. A problem caused largely by dumped pets, not hunters.

Would also like to know how what they are doing endangers anybody? That one is a real mystery.

10
MarkE 12:36 am
17 Sep 16
#

Hunting feral pigs in National Parks, or anywhere else they are found, actually sounds like a good idea. Lets find a way to make it safe and legal rather than locking up National Parks.

The National Parks are for people to use for walking, camping, four wheel driving and even some forms of hunting. If that use also gets rid of feral pests all the better.

Mark Ellis is a Liberal Democrats Candidate for the seat of Kurrajong – http://www.act-ldp.org.au

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