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Capella farmers kill 600 pigs

Lee Challacombe piloted a five-day pigging operation that cleared properties of 600 feral pigs.
Lee Challacombe piloted a five-day pigging operation that cleared properties of 600 feral pigs.

A FIVE-DAY culling operation saw the eradication of more than 600 feral pigs on properties near Capella last week.

The beasts have been causing havoc in the area following a heavy wet season ideal for their breeding and survival.

Farmers united in their fight against the pest after extensive harm was caused to sorghum, sunflower and mungbean crops.

Landholder Maureen Burns said those who had been suffering at the hooves of the pests were extremely happy with the result.

"They've been shocking," Maureen said.

"The crop damage has been very significant - they cause terrible damage.

"All us landholders pulled together.

"It was over a lot of country but 600 is a big number so you can just imagine the damage they were causing."

In total, 19 properties of about 5000 acres each were covered in the operation.

Chopper pilot Lee Challacombe piloted the aerial shooters.

"It was very successful," Lee said.

"They mainly congregate in the farming area up there because of the crops.

"We flew for five mornings in a row, basically just along the creeks and among the crops."

Once spotted, the shooter in the co-pilot's seat, which changed various times throughout the operation, worked the group from the air.

"They scatter a bit but you just work them like you would cattle really," Lee said.

"I usually do a fair bit of work like this, but this year there were definitely more than there are usually because of the heavy wet season.

"Last year was pretty bad as well. I knew there were a lot, but I didn't think we would get that many."


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