Anti-pigging stunt goes to the dogs

Feral pigs will become part of the environment and will be “here for our future,” according to an Australian animal-rights advocate and researcher.

Daniel Ramp, a University of Technology conservation biologist and director of animal-rights group Voiceless, made the comment at an anti-hunting forum yesterday.

Ramp said it was time to stop thinking we can eradicate feral pigs, which spread quickly as white settlement expanded.

“Feral pigs in the future will be native pigs,” he said. “They’re there for our future.”

The comment is a surprise, as it runs directly parallel to some tenets of game management and the sustainable use of natural resources – though Ramp stands steadfastly against hunting.

Further, his comments will anger many conservationists, including hunters, who continue to look for ways to eradicate pigs and other ferals to protect native wildlife and environments.

Ramp was speaking at an event at NSW parliament house organised by the Greens and various animal-rights groups as part of their bid to outlaw pig dogging.

The forum appears to have fallen flat, pulling between 40 and 50 people in total, including 10-15 hunters. It appears only one one news article came out of it, an AAP article that was run in a handful of media.

Our sources indicate the forum “could have been better, but then again it could have been worse”.

The forum was expected to be biased, being put together by Greens MLC David Shoebridge and featuring a number of animal-rights advocates, some of whom are considered at the extreme end of the scale.

Ramp was on the billing as a UTS academic, with no mention of his Voiceless connection, nor the fact that he is a founder of THINKK, a UTS-based research group that opposes the kangaroo industry.

THINKK has since spawned THINK Wildlife, which espouses “conservation solutions that encapsulate both the right of the individual animal to life and the well-being of a population, specie or habitat”.

Ramps controversial comments reflect the belief that this can be achieved.

Animal Liberation’s Lynda Stoner also spoke at the forum, and aired less than a minute of footage showing inappropriate pig-dogging activity that she told the audience was typical of the way hunters conducted themselves.

An animal-rights lawyer for Voiceless, Ruth Hatten, told the forum pig dogging was illegal under animal welfare laws, although Sporting Shooter’s reading of the laws indicates this is not the case if dogging is carried out along ethical lines.

Shoebridge claimed many hunting organisations were invited to the forum but declined to attend, but Australian Pig Dog Hunting Association president Mark Beattie said he’d not received an invitation.

Instead, he said he had contacted the Greens last week to ask if he could be there. He was told he would be welcome, but opted not to travel from Queensland for the event.




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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.