DawnWatch: NY Times on hog hunting — 10/29/06

October 29th, 2006 10:22 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Oct 29, 2006 4:17 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: NY Times on hog hunting — 10/29/06

The Sunday, October 29, New York Times includes a story, by Tim Eaton headed, “With Hands and Hounds, Stalking Feral Hogs in Texas.” (A16.)

It describes the capture of a wild hog as follows:

“Four of his short-haired scent hounds, which had been released earlier, began to bark from the darkness. Mr. Richardson jumped out of the truck and freed a black pit bull from a cage on the truck’s flatbed. He chased after his pit bull into the darkness toward the barking hounds.

“He tripped in a wet ditch but kept running through the milo stalks. When he got to the baying dogs, the light on his miner’s hat revealed that the pit bull, trained for just this purpose, had clamped onto the face of a feral hog.

“As he had done thousands of times before, Mr. Richardson, 58, pounced on the snorting beast and tied its feet together, immobilizing it. Within minutes, he had loaded the animal barehanded into a cage.”

On the website we can see a close-up photo of Richardson loading a terrified struggling hog into his truck. That photo is not included in the hard copy of the paper.

We read:

“A lot of people in rural Texas catch wild hogs, which can grow to several hundred pounds, and Mr. Richardson traps them like most others. But there is sometimes a twist to Mr. Richardson’s hunts — he spends a few nights a week cruising the dirt roads of Stonewall County, a place with more hogs than people, to run down the wild animals using only his dogs and his bare hands.

“‘It’s for fun,’ he said.”

“It has also become lucrative as Europeans and an increasing number of Americans clamor for wild boar. Mr. Richardson said he made $28,000 last year selling live feral hogs.”

The animals are sent to slaughter and the meat is mostly exported to Europe but we read that the popularity of wild boar has been growing in the US with the demand for organic food. The paper and website include photos of Richardson sending a small truckload of the feral hogs off to slaughter.

It is ironic that the wild hog market is growing with the organic market as many people turn towards organic meat to avoid supporting the cruelty of factory farming. Indeed wild hunted animals, at least those few lucky enough to die from a clean shot, suffer incomparably less than those raised in tiny cages and trucked in unconscionable conditions to under-regulated slaughterhouses. But the hogs hunted by Richardson suffer horribly for his fun.

You’ll find the whole article on line at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/29/us/29hog.html.

With its tone that seems to glorify bare-handed hunting “for fun,” the article provides an opportunity for letters that discuss the way we treat members of other species — letters that add the voice of compassion to the public dialogue.

The New York Times takes letters at letters [at] nytimes.com.

Please be sure to send letters that share your thoughts and do not use any of my phrases. Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Shorter letters are more likely to be published.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. To unsubscribe, go to http://www.dawnwatch.com/cgi-bin/dada/dawnwatch_unsubscribe.cgi. You are encouraged to forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts but please do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)

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