Pig hunters bite back at expose
AN ABC expose on pig dogging has been likened to the saying about a few bad eggs spoiling it for the rest of us.
And it's got hunters and landholders angry.
On Tuesday night the ABC's 7.30 program ran a damning segment on pig dogging, where hunters take packs of trained dogs to hunt feral pigs, a pest that cost farmers in the region countless dollars in damaged crops.
The program aired videos of amateur hunters trapping pigs in small enclosures before letting their dogs go to work on them, mauling them to death.
The exercise caused an outcry from animal rights groups, who labelled the practice "cruel and barbaric".
But farmers and experienced hunters say pig eradication is a vital pest-control measure and argue the ABC program "ignored the full picture".
Maureen Burns, of Kalora, near Capella, said pig hunters provided considerable help when it came to pest management.
"I would hate to think how much the whole district has lost this year alone," Mrs Burns said.
"We've got two groups of young guys that come here and hunt and they always do the right thing.
"As far as I am concerned, you've got to do the right thing or you won't get a second chance."
Emerald's Craig (surname withheld) has hunted for 17 years and had a frank view of the YouTube videos aired on the ABC.
"There's a minority of people out there that ruin it for everyone else," he said.
"Most people I know that hunt pigs are responsible people and they like to do things in the right way, killing humanely and quickly."
Another hunter, from Blackwater, said his dogs were his No.1 priority.
"It (annoys) me off that they (ABC) show the tiny per cent that does the wrong thing," he said.
"My dogs are my money makers and I look after them.
"You always get the idiots, guys who drive cars too fast. There are idiots everywhere and we need to look at the bigger picture."
Following the program, the RSPCA said it was vehemently opposed to pig hunting with the use of dogs.
"Pigs hunted with dogs are chased, held down and may be attacked and wounded by the dogs before the hunter is able to dispatch them," RSPCA Queensland chief executive Mark Townsend said.