I write in relation to the article on the dramatic rise in the population of feral pigs, published in The Northern Daily Leader on July 31.
This particular article is in no way a surprise to me. The breeding conditions and food availability for feral animals, like pigs, have been abundant for months in not only this area, but also in the Central Western parts of NSW, South East and West Queensland, and of course, Far North Queensland.
Despite the continued efforts of ethical hunters who abide by the government-approved codes of conduct issued by the NSW Game Council and the Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association (APDHA), the population and impact of feral pigs continue to increase.
Being the publisher of a pig hunting magazine dedicated to highlighting not only the need, but the requirement for all hunters to abide by the rules and codes of conduct, I am again left disappointed to hear of hard-earned efforts by those doing the right thing being tarnished by the actions of a low percentage of people who like to call themselves “hunters”.
The low percentage of people ruining the image of today’s ethical and humane pig hunters are in fact criminals, not hunters, and should be regarded that way.
The image of hunters, and in particular pig hunters, has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons of late, again due to the actions of a minority, but that should not necessarily turn farmers off from allowing a hunter who is a member of a NSW Game Council-approved hunting organisation, like the APDHA, to gain access and reduce feral pig numbers with written consent and under strict guidelines.
Members of the APDHA, and those with an R-licence issued by the NSW Game Council, join these organisations acknowledging and agreeing to comply with certain criteria of what is expected of them, and all have public liability insurance.
If a hunter rocks up to your door and asks for permission to hunt and produces forms of identification that proves they are an R-licence-holder with the NSW Game Council, or a member of the Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association, you will know they are fair dinkum about going about eradicating feral animals in the most ethical and humane manner possible.
With the APDHA, members all carry a “permission to hunt book”, of which farmers and landholders maintain a copy and can themselves stipulate what game is to be hunted and how (guns, dogs, bows) on their property, and more importantly, when.
Members realise that initial access does not mean “constant access”, and will produce membership details and the permission to hunt book on each visit.
If you are a landholder or primary producer and would like to know more about having accredited and ethical hunters assist you periodically reducing the impact of feral animals like pigs, goats and dogs please don’t hesitate to contact the NSW Game Council, the APDHA or myself to discuss further.