Attack on pig escalates debate on hunting - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Attack on pig escalates debate on hunting

Victoria Anderson Victoria Anderson
Inga Gibson Inga Gibson
Ollie Lunasco Ollie Lunasco
Oahu Pig Hunters Association Oahu Pig Hunters Association

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

PALOLO VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state is looking into changing hunting rules.  It's taking public comments until the end of the month.  A case this week involving a wild pig is giving it extra attention.

Victoria Anderson was horrified with what she saw in her own backyard in Palolo Valley. 

"Just really in agony, bleeding, all these puncture wounds around its body," said Anderson.

She says this 40 pound female was chased by three hunting dogs and left for dead because there was no hunter around.  Anderson called the Hawaiian Humane Society who euthanized the animal.

"It was horrible this poor pig is bleeding to death and it's all shredded.  I just wanted to help it out of its misery as soon as I could," said Anderson.

"This epitomizes why the state needs to enact stronger regulations for hunting dogs," said Inga Gibson, The Humane Society of the United States, Hawaii State Director.

There are plenty of videos on the internet that show pig hunting on Oahu and how graphic it can be especially as the pig squeals.

"They are being told to literally tear apart these pigs. It's torture. If it were done to any other animal it would be felony cruelty," said Gibson.

"If Inga thinks it's cruel than change the laws and we won't pursue at all and then see what problems will arise after that," said Ollie Lunasco, Oahu Pig Hunters Association President.

Lunasco says he's been called to remove 100 pigs in the last two years and he says the state directly refers people to him.

"The feral hog population is out of control right now, say it gets worse, is the Humane Society going to go trap them and put them away in a humane manner?  What are they going to do, call the government and say gee why aren't you taking care of this problem," said Lunasco.  "The reason on Oahu we use a lot of dogs is that the pigs don't run they sit and fight and if you don't have enough dogs to pin them the pigs going to chase you."

Gibson says there are more humane ways to control the pig population and eventually wants the method of using hunting dogs banned.

"There's no time like the present. Do we have to wait until a person is harmed or another pet is killed before the state says we need more regulations on hunting dogs?" said Gibson.

The state is taking public comments on possible rule changes for hunting.  At this point the testimony has been broad but the Department of Land and Natural Resources could have a proposal narrowed to take to the land board by December.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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