26 Million Free Range Pigs. So Why Aren’t We Eating Them?

There are more feral pigs in Australia than there are people. Estimates sit at about 26 million pigs, and they’re breeding faster than they can be culled.

Feral pigs exemplify free range. These pigs live off the grid. They’re dangerous, wild animals that cause untold levels of destruction to native animals and the environment. In Queensland alone, feral pigs cause approximately $100 million worth of damage every year to the agricultural industry.

They’re also edible.

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Delicious

There is the potential for a massive meat industry, sitting right at our fingertips. In order to start a pig farm, it costs about $6000 per sow. So if you want 1,000 sows that’s $6 million just to get started. It’ll be a long time before the money is made back, what with raising, feeding and housing all the pigs before slaughtering. All that feral pigs require is a marksman and a bullet.

Now this may sound horrible and inhumane, but in actual fact it’s much more ethical than pig farming. The feral pigs had the best life they could imagine. They got to roam free, mate with whatever pigs they chose, eat whatever and whenever they wanted, then suddenly, without warning, it was over. This is a natural life. This is how predation works in the wild. Keeping pigs in unnatural factory farms is infinitely more cruel than hunting feral pigs.

Not only is it more humane, it solves the problem of environmental damage. This is all around the best option.

This industry does already exist, but it’s not nearly as big as it needs to be. A number of problems need to be overcome for it to expand.

Wild pigs are incredibly aggressive and their tusks are sharp enough to kill a man. They are also intelligent, and they stand still to hide from helicopters that carry hunters.

Trapping is one solution, and one that has proved useful in Florida, the feral pig capital of America. There are companies that will pay good money for live pigs trapped by hunters. They must be sold alive because a USDA inspector must oversee the slaughter for the meat to be legally sold.

If we can create an industry like this in Australia, then people in rural areas, who would be shooting these pigs normally, can start trapping them instead. This will lead to less factory farming, less environmental damage, less native animal extinction, and the growth of a massive export industry. Seems like a pretty good idea right?

 

– Robin