'Don't brand all us pig hunters'

GYMPIE pig hunter David Hetherington this week backed the RSPCA's condemnation of pig hunters featured in a 7.30 Report story but said not all pig hunters were "cruel hillbillies" like the ones in the television article.

He called on the "touchy feely set" to visit the real world where feral pigs were causing more and more damage to properties and stock in the Gympie region.

The RSPCA said yesterday the ABC's 7.30 Report screened early in the week illustrated "all too clearly" why it was vehemently opposed to the hunting of pigs using dogs.

"Most of the participants appeared to positively gloat in the pain they inflicted," said RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend.

"It portrayed with startling clarity a part of our society that most of us like to think doesn't exist. But sadly it does. Magazines that glorify the 'sport' such as Bacon Busters show bikini clad women draped over animals that in most cases have suffered a prolonged, painful death."

Mr Hetherington has been hunting pigs for 30 years but does not use dogs. But there was a need for dogs in some instances, particularly around the Gympie region, because the pigs were impossible to flush out of the long grass without them.

Letting pig hunters use a pistol to get in close and safely dispatch them was another issue that needed discussing, he said.

The problem of feral pigs in this region was on the rise, Mr Hetherington said. Two weeks ago he shot two feral pigs in the rural residential neighbourhood of Rocks Rd, and another pig in the same area a week earlier.

This was endorsed by Scrubby Creek resident Bill Cousins, who said as many as 20 feral pigs had come in at once and "ploughed up" his lawn overnight.

"What they showed the other night was straight-out cruelty. Those blokes were absolutely disgusting.

"This is a case though where the do-gooders are quick to criticise but wouldn't really want to help the cocky who has to destroy a calf that the pigs have eaten its feet off while it is being born or the cow the dogs have chewed the backside out of in the same conditions.

Gympie Times

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