Pig hunting with dogs

NSW Police does not support a ban on pig-dogging, despite reports

New South Wales hunters can breathe a sigh of relief — NSW Police are not calling for a ban on pig hunting with dogs, contrary to reports that they were seeking one.

A document tabled in NSW Parliament during Estimates earlier this week by an Animal Justice Party MP, in which two NSW Police Service members called for pig-dogging to be outlawed, caused alarm among hunters.

However, fears that the NSW Police Service is seeking the ban have proven to be misplaced after the force appeared to distance itself from the letter, which was written in 2022 by two members of a rural crime unit. 

The service went as far as posting a statement on the the Rural Crime Prevention Team Facebook page saying, “It has been reported that the New South Wales Police Force are calling for the banning of using dogs to hunt pigs in New South Wales. This is not the view of the NSWPF or the Rural Crime Prevention Team.”

Pro-hunting Barwon MP Roy Butler says he has asked NSW Police about the issue and been reassured the document was the perspective of individual officers and did not represent the views of the NSW Police Service.

“The NSW police have no intention or plan to stop hunting with dogs,” he said. “It’s not even within their jurisdiction.

“This was never the police’s position and it would be irresponsible to present it as police position. 

“This should never have been tabled or presented as police position because it’s clearly not.”

Mr Butler said many of his constituents were keen pig-doggers so he felt it imperative to get to the bottom of the matter.

He said while NSW Police did not wish to ban pig hunting, they believe there should be an industry code of practice for pig-dogging, and this had his support too.

“Most people who go pig-dogging already do it the right way,” he said.

“We don’t want people doing the wrong thing hunting or with guns — it gives us all a bad name.

“When we’re trying to present ourselves as law-abiding people it only takes one person acting up for the media to have something to run with.”

Australian Pig Doggers and Hunting Association (APDHA) president Ned Makim said they were very supportive of the there being regulations involved with pig-dogging, ideally as an extension of the current NSW R-licence system for hunting, with the aim of ensuring only people doing the right thing were involved in the activity. 

“We are very happy with the concept of regulation,” he said. “All that we ask is that we’re involved in the framing of that regulation.

“In the same way that fishing is licensed, pig-dogging would be licensed. It’s the easiest way to delineate between legal and illegal hunting.  

“We see it as an extension of the R-licence system in NSW. You have to be member of a recognised hunting organisation, and it would be extended to pig hunting on private land, not just public.” 

Mr Makim said animal welfare was a top priority for pig-doggers, who formed close bonds with their animals and took their wellbeing very seriously, as well as having great respect for their quarry.

“The bond you can get with your dogs is incredible and the joy they get out of [pig hunting] is amazing,” he said.

“I’ve been hunting with dogs since I was 15 and of all the people I know, no-one cares more about their dogs or the dog’s welfare than pig hunters.

“It might seem counter-intuitive but they [hunters] also have tremendous respect for the pigs – they don’t hate them, they see them as something to be hunted. 

“A quick, humane death [for a hunted pig] is as much a welfare issue for the pig as it is for the dog.”




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Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.