Archive for Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ban on swine hunting wins committees’ approval

March 22, 2006


The days of hunting feral swine and other wild hogs in Kansas are probably numbered.

A bill in the Kansas Legislature that would ban wild hog hunting has passed House and Senate committees. It also makes it illegal to intentionally release swine into the wild for purposes of hunting.

"What we don't want are people bringing feral swine into the state for the sport," said Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, who sits on the Senate Agricultural Committee, which approved the bill Tuesday.

Kansas Livestock Commissioner George Teagarden pushed for the bill and testified before Francisco's committee earlier this month, only a few days after federal agents used a helicopter as a platform for hunting and shooting to death 25 feral swine in the Clinton Lake Wildlife Area west of Lawrence. The carcasses were buried in an approved site in Osage County.

The pigs had been in the area for the last few years and their population had increased, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Theories are that the pigs were introduced to the area for hunting or they somehow escaped from an owner.

Teagarden thinks they were intentionally released and that hunting the animals has contributed to their increase.

"We didn't have ferals in there 10 years ago," he said in a phone interview. "Our experience has been that over the past 10 years the hunting pressure has scattered the groups of hogs that we've had, plus it's encouraged, we believe, illegal importation of feral swine."

The pigs scatter from public hunting grounds onto nearby private properties where they cause problems by rooting up farm crops and ground, Teagarden and game agents said. They can carry diseases that could be passed on to farm animals and pets.

Property owners near the Clinton wildlife area had complained about the pigs, state agents said.

In addition to Clinton, the helicopter team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal, Health and Inspection Service killed wild hogs in other parts of the state where they had been causing problems.

Feral swine are considered livestock, not true wild animals, so they are under jurisdiction of the livestock commissioner. State game agents, however, say the swine revert to their primal instincts once they're introduced into the wild.

Wildlife and Parks supports the bill, a spokeswoman said.

If it becomes law, anyone caught hunting feral swine or releasing them into the wild could be fined a maximum $5,000 per violation. It also would make it illegal to assist or profit from any feral swine hunting activity.

Property owners could take action to kill wild hogs on their own or through a designated agent to protect their property, Francisco said. A designee would have to obtain a state permit for that purpose, she said.


rtwngr 12 years ago

"See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how the fly. I'm crying." The Beatles

P.S. Paul was the Walrus

trinity 12 years ago

koo koo ka choo.

why am i not surprised that a dem from lawrence is named as being in favor of this bill.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

"why am i not surprised that a dem from lawrence is named as being in favor of this bill."

I guess that means you would expect a democrat from elsewhere, or any republican, to oppose this bill. Any particular reasoning behind this?

craigers 12 years ago

I think it was meant to say that a dem from Lawrence usually embodies everything that is a liberal. Just a guess. I personally like the fact that if people want to shoot pigs that are on their own property then they have to get a permit. What is up with that? It is their own property and they are protecting it. Next thing that you know is that you will have to get a permit to kill any animal on your own property, whether it be a oppossum, racoon, or a mole. This is a little absurd.

lunacydetector 12 years ago

i wonder if "Lulu" is marci francisco? it DOES make sense now.

bankboy119 12 years ago

Craigers, the property owner does not have to get a permit. If the property owner designates some one else to remove the swine then the person who is designated has to get a permit.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

The reason behind the bill is that pigs are being released as game animals for private hunting reserves, but they are also escaping and causing a lot of damage on other people's property, as well as on public land.

There is nothing "liberal" or "conservative" about this bill. But the criticism is obviously rooted in deep prejudices among some posters on this board against anyone they percieve as "liberal." Those posters automatically assume that anything a "liberal" legislator such as Francisco does must be very suspect because she is a "liberal."

This Fox/Limbaugh simplemindedness is destroying the ability of this country to run itself in a rational, sensible way.

craigers 12 years ago

Thanks bankboy for catching that for me. That would completely suck if the property owner had to get a permit. Thanks again for the correction.

gr 12 years ago

"Teagarden thinks they were intentionally released and that hunting the animals has contributed to their increase."

Hunting animals cause them to increase. Therefore, not hunting and killing them will cause their decrease?

"Feral swine are considered livestock, not true wild animals,"

So, now it's illegal to kill lifestock? I guess you can still kill you're own, but if you want someone else to do it, they have to get a "permit"? Is "hunting" different from "killing"?

badger 12 years ago

I think that if the goal is to stop people from importing swine for the purposes of hunting them, it makes more sense to pass a bill against importing swine for the purposes of hunting them.

I don't care what people kill on their own property, so long as it's not endangered and not human, but I do get righteously peeved when people bring in opportunistic invasive species and aren't terribly careful to keep them from jacking with the local fauna.

There's a feral swine problem, which probably means some people who introduced them didn't much care about managing them or their effect on the local ecosystem, and those people are the ones that need laws passed against them. People who run into a feral hog on their property that they didn't put there, who shoot it, I think the government shouldn't have any beef with them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Badger, I think that is more or less what the law is intended to do, although the approach is somewhat different. It means that if you run a private hunting preserve, you won't be able to stock it with pigs, but if some are running loose on your own property, you can still shoot them.

spikey_mcmarbles 12 years ago

Instead of Wildlife and Parks making some money on hunting licenses and letting the citizens take care of it, the state will have to pay the Feds to hunt the pigs.

What's the hourly charge rate for a squad of USDA hunters + a helo?

onehotmomma 12 years ago

badger - don't your mean "pork" with them??? hehe

gr 12 years ago

Badger: "There's a feral swine problem, which probably means some people who introduced them didn't much care about managing them or their effect on the local ecosystem, and those people are the ones that need laws passed against them."

So, I don't think making it illegal to hunt unwanted livestock is going to solve the problem. Making it illegal to introduce invasive species would help.

I guess this is almost the same type of mentality of someone making a bomb out of fertilizer and diesel fuel. They restrict fertilizer! What about diesel fuel? They are patching the wrong hole. There is something to be said about restricting hunting. If there is no demand, maybe, possibly, hopefully, no one would introduce the hogs. But, it sure isn't going to decrease the existing ones.

Is this like cougars? It's illegal to release them, but once some idiot does, you can't eliminate them? (the cougars, that is)

badger 12 years ago

The part where they say hunting has increased the population is something I'd have to see, well, some actual proof on. Because unless feral swine have some natural predator out there in sufficient numbers to keep their populations in check, hunting and epidemic are the only things that will cause a decrease in their numbers. Perhaps the feral dog packs keep them in control?

Bozo - I missed the bit where homeowners can kill feral swine on their own property; the way the sentence was worded I thought they needed a permit. That mitigates my annoyance somewhat. I'm fine with the 'making it illegal to import' provision as well. On reflection, though, I find I still have problems with the 'making it illegal to kill wild ones without a permit' part of it.

Feral swine are dangerous. They will attack and kill family pets and display aggression towards humans.

If someone is renting, or visiting, or house-sitting, or hunting deer on someone else's land with permission, or any one of a number of other valid and legal reasons one might be on property one doesn't own and perhaps not accompanied by the property owner, and encounters one of these animals, I don't think that it should be against the law for that person to kill it without a permit. If someone's legally carrying a weapon on public land (for example, hunting deer in season), that someone should be able to defend himself against a dangerous animal.

Frankly, I think they're a nuisance animal, and that there should be a fifty-dollar bounty on them (not enough to bring them in for if it's against the law, but enough to encourage people to kill them when they see them). But that's just me. I favor harsh encroaching species eradication.

cavtrooper 12 years ago

I think theyshould put the hogs on the same tag system as other big game, and hammer the crap out of the folks that import them into the state for hunting. Feral hogs are no joke(having had some dealings ith them in Texas) and they need to be controlled, if not eliminated. The hogs around Clinton are not gone, and they will be back. All Fish and Game did was thin the sounder and leave more food for the ones that survived the shooting. Those that did survive will be much harder to track and eliminate. Fine the "game ranchers" and sloppy farmers, not the hunters.

cavtrooper 12 years ago

Good points badger.. But too many "warm and fuzzy" will be out for the "rights" of the feral swine, the way they are now for another feral animal that hurts our natural ecosystems. Feral cats. But that's a rant for another day. Peace.

ChasL 12 years ago

The hogs are already there, why not hunt them??

I'm very glad to see the last statement about "It also would make it illegal to assist or profit from any feral swine hunting activity". Our W&P Commission and its backstabbing Sec. have already sold out KS resident deer hunters to NR hunters and NR Outfitters.

Let's see........a hog sexually matures at 6 months of age, can have 3 litters a year and with up to 24 piglets in a litter............yeah, hunting them is causing the problem.

Our W&P is the laughing stock of the nation, transferable deer tags, 3rd pole permits, the Sec. selling public land without notifying the public(West side of Rocky Ford, Hayden should be held accountable for that one) and now hunting causes an increase in animals that have no natural predators.

Public land, does that have any meaning anymore.

badger 12 years ago

onehotmomma - snicker

Yeah, perhaps I do.

gr - that would be why, earlier in the same post, I said. "I think that if the goal is to stop people from importing swine for the purposes of hunting them, it makes more sense to pass a bill against importing swine for the purposes of hunting them."

You can't stop people from pig and hog farming (which is technically 'introducing invasive species' if you're making it a blanket statement). That's a legitimate business that lots of people do responsibly. The problem is the people who deliberately release them for hunting. People have been farming swine in the area for ages, but it seems like they've only really been a problem since it became more common to stock them for hunting.

Farmers pay attention to loss of livestock, because each pig or hog has a dollar value to them and they want to get as much pork to market as they can. I don't want them hit. Hunting clubs, preserves, ranches, what have you, they pay less attention to two or three swine lost here and there, so they're more likely to be the source of the feral swine problem. They should be the ones getting told, "No bringing in the piggies. You don't watch them closely enough."

Jamesaust 12 years ago

K.S.A. 47-1701 at work again.

" (d) (1) "Animal" means any live dog, cat, rabbit, rodent, nonhuman primate, bird or other warm-blooded vertebrate or any fish, snake or other cold-blooded vertebrate. (2) Animal does not include horses, cattle, sheep, goats, SWINE, ratites, domesticated deer or domestic fowl."

[Note: "(j) "Dog" means any animal which is wholly or in part of the species Canis familiaris but does NOT include any greyhound."]

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

No more hunting pigs?!

But... I already put down a deposit on a helicopter. Non-refundable!

It DOES make sense to control the problem by banning the hunting. The pigs are present only because people are freeing the pigs into the wild so that they will go feral for hunting purposes. If the hunting is banned, then the motivation for freeing the pigs is eliminated.

It's going to be much easier to catch someone hunting the pigs than it will be to catch people letting them go. If some guy is yelling "Sooooouuuu - ieeee!" with a deer rifle in his hands, he's hunting pigs. :)

ChasL 12 years ago

Does anyone have proof that they were released for hunting? Any one remember when hog prices fell so far that the hog feed was worth more than the hog(why feed it).........anyone notice the big hog operation west of Stull? 5000$ fine for hunting a feral hog, what a joke.

ChasL 12 years ago

Is the problem the fact that hunters are pushing the hogs off Public land onto private, where the feral hogs cause damage and can "maybe" spread diseases?

So the plan is to not hunt(pressure) them so they won't leave the public land.............saving private land but allowing them to destroy "our" public land?

The Clinton Wildlife Area manager reported in January the the hog herd was around 150 much did it cost to kill 25?

Confrontation 12 years ago

I think PETA members should chase down all the pigs and have them spayed or neutered. Unless, of course, this is against the civil rights of the pigs. If we could just fix them all and let them live their little piggy lives until they die out, wouldn't that be peachy?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Maybe next week will be the week of the bovine.

Moderateguy 12 years ago

Am I the only one who's dumbfounded that Marci Francisco sits on the Senate Agricultural Comittee? That's like giving Larry the Cable Guy Alan Greenspan's old job. From personal experience, she's a loon! Can't we just give her a spot on the Ministry of Silly Walks?

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