Pigger defends his hunt as RSPCA calls for ban on cruelty

HUNTERS: Tristan Thompson with pig dogs Molly and Izzy.
HUNTERS: Tristan Thompson with pig dogs Molly and Izzy. Declan Cooley

THE RSPCA is calling for a ban on cruel pig hunting across the country but one local man says the sins of a minority shouldn't impinge on the majority of pig hunters who do the right thing.

Tristan Thompson - who started hunting when he was 10-years old and got his first pig dog at 17 - said pig hunting "killed two birds with one stone" for him.

"I hunt for meat - everything I catch and kill ends up in my freezer as mince or chops," he said.

>> LETTER: Pig hunters don't understand what animal cruelty is

"It's good to help out the farmers too because there are a lot of pigs up here and farmers are forever battling feral animals."

Should legislation change on pig hunting?

This poll ended on 16 November 2015.

No, pig hunting helps farmers and should be encouraged. - 88%

Some restrictions should be in place to make sure all hunters kill humanely. - 8%

Ban pig hunting and employ accredited professionals for pest extermination. - 2%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

He said pigs push through and damage fences, destroy crops, spread disease and can contaminate domestic stock.

Last year Tristan killed around 300 feral pigs, and said it wasn't uncommon to get five or six pigs a night.

But it isn't animal cruelty, he maintains.

A local pig hunter has spoken out in defence of his sport and livelihood, saying the majority of hunters make every effort to kill humanely: Should legislation change on pig hunting?

Posted by The Observer on Sunday, 1 November 2015

"It comes down to personal opinion and to me I don't think hunting is cruel. It's just these blokes who do the wrong thing and their acts of cruelty put us all under the same banner," he said.

"When I hunt I'll either walk or ute hunt and what we do is wait until the dog picks up the scent of a pig and then we'll let them go and track them with the GPS.

"Then it depends on what dogs you're running with. If you have 'bailers' they'll corner the pig and then you can sneak in and shoot it but if you've got 'holding' dogs then you can run in and stick it in the heart," he said.

Tristan is on the committee of the Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association which has outlined a set of ethical standards its members must follow.

He said it wasn't written law but most people complied with it. "Basically, you have to try and do everything as humanely as possible. You have to make the effort to get to the pig as quickly as you can," he said.

Topics:  animal cruelty animals pig pig hunting rspca

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