North Queensland’s feral pig problem in Katter’s sights


KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter has called on the Federal Government to spend more money to address the explosion of feral pigs in North Queensland and says restrictions on pig hunting should be eased.

Mr Katter said the explosion of pig numbers cost banana and cane farmers millions of dollars and could also wipe out native species.

“Where I live, we love our cassowaries. In fact, the name of our council is the Cassowary Coast Regional Council,” he said during a speech to parliament.

“The dunnart is a cute little kangaroo, but he’s doomed. The turtles are doomed, the cassowaries are doomed as are numerous species; they cannot possibly survive in the face of the pig explosion.

“The pigs dig up the soil and in constant wet weather, particularly in the Wet Tropics, which can cause dirty runoff into the creeks, rives and ocean.”

Mr Katter’s comments follow the release of a Senate Committee report into ‘The impact of feral deer, pigs and goats in Australia’.[1] 

The report recommends that the Federal Government develop national priorities for data gathering to address gaps in knowledge about the prevalence, range and impacts of feral pigs.

Mr Katter said it was gross mismanagement that a survey of pig numbers in North Queensland had not been conducted for nearly 20 years.

“The experts blindly estimate that there are four to six million pigs in North Queensland,” he said.

“If each female pig has a three-month gestation period, that’s two litters a year of—let’s be conservative—six piglets. That’s one million female pigs having 12 pigs each a year, which is 12 million pigs.”

The Senate report also recommended the Australian Government commit to providing significant long-term funding to support the implementation of the National Feral Pig Action Plan.

“I agree that more money needs to go towards combating the pigs,” Mr Katter said.

“In the recent federal budget only $29.1m of additional funding was invested to protect native species from the threats posed by invasive pest animals and weeds in the native environment.

“The other big problem is the restrictions on firearms. The louts and the hoons like most young blokes in the bush, I was one of them once upon a time, took our rifles and went pig shooting on the weekend. It was a lot of fun and it had a great social value to our country, pig shooting. Without a semiautomatic-rifle, it is a bit of a joke.

“The pigs are going to destroy our wildlife. Unless something is done, it is going to happen as sure as the sun rises.”

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