Agriculture Victoria has issued a warning to hunters about the states’ growing feral pig problem and to stay away from feral pigs.
The Weekly Times reports:
“Hunters and others using public land have been urged not to go looking for or disturbing feral pigs. Agriculture Victoria is urging people to “just stay away” from feral pigs, particularly around traps set by authorities. This comes as new populations of the pests have been identified in southwest Victoria — including the Heywood, Portland and Dartmoor regions.
Government authorities have confirmed pigs are now endemic in all areas of the state and “beyond eradication.”
So, Agriculture Victoria is admitting the problem is now out of control, and the best thing to do is to prevent those willing to do something about it from doing something about it? Right. Just let them breed uncontrollably, that should solve it.
And as for Agriculture Victoria not publishing the areas where they have been seen, well, Feral Scan might be able to help you out on that.
I’d have to disagree with any species being “beyond eradication” when Australia’s endangered species list continues to grow (we all know what one of the major reasons is), and Earth’s history is replete with examples of animals being hunted to extinction or near-extinction by man. Sure, Australia more than has it’s work cut out for it in terms of the war against invasive species, but increasing restrictions on hunting and dumb firearm laws do absolutely nothing to help that cause.
The article further states: “Most hunters do the right thing, but a small percentage don’t and we believe, although there isn’t definite proof at this point, that some have released pigs with the intention of building up a wild population for hunting.” Mr Matthews said feral pig camera traps had been stolen, and traps interfered with in the past.
The same old, Australian collectivist punishment maxim right on cue. A small group of people are allegedly ruining it, so we need to punish everyone else who had nothing to do it with it. Well, no thanks. How about punish those people responsible, if they are responsible at all, and leave the overwhelmingly law abiding majority alone?
Which leads to the next point, “there isn’t definite proof at this point.” So why make the claim in the first place?
The previous week, Forest Fire Management Victoria’s James Downie stated “We are seeing evidence of feral pigs that have had their ears cut off consistent with the theory that some pigs were released with the intent of breeding up to allow for increased hunting opportunities.”
What exact evidence Mr Downie is claiming and from where is unclear from the report. While this is not outside the realm of possibility (and if it is true, any such perpetrator(s) should be dealt with accordingly), it appears to be the default opinion of many government agencies in this country on this issue that hunters are to blame and that invasive species are not naturally increasing their presence in other regions.
Victoria does not currently have the same level of feral pig problems as Queensland or NSW but it appears to be unfortunately heading in the wrong direction. If Agriculture Victoria is serious about tackling the invasive species issue then perhaps it could look into the recent findings of the inquiry on invasive species in Victoria, which recommended the deregulation of hunting and deregulating Category C and D firearms and suppressors, akin to what New Zealand’s hunters can enjoy, for recreational hunting to help keep numbers down.
The obvious question we have is, if invasive species are out of control in Victoria (they are) then what do they think will happen if the Greens’ driven Great Forest National Park Proposal goes ahead and further locks hunters out? Give it twelve months when the numbers blow out and they’ll be screaming for hunters to return.
Or maybe not, because the Greens don’t do humility very well. Particularly when passports are involved.
Further, recent community shoots in Western Australia and South Australia have shown the effectiveness in community driven, localised hunting to keep feral numbers down. Why not more of this? The residents of Wonga Park are currently finding out what that’s like with reports of locals paying shooters to stem the numbers of kangaroos and deer that have invaded the area.
Recreational hunters are a core answer to the invasive species scourge – not a scapegoat to be blamed for the ineffectiveness of bloated bureaucracy.