Why is it still legal to hunt hogs with dogs.

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Hopeless- Optimist.
Barked: Fri Aug 7, '09 5:26pm PST 
We’ve banned bull baiting and dog fighting, yet we still allow feral hog hunting with dogs. Why is this?

I don’t get how people find this typing of hunting fun and, or enjoyable.

Hog dogging, hawg dawgin’, hog baiting, hog dog "rodeos": They’re all terms for a bloodsport known as hog dog fighting. An owner leads his trained pit bull into an enclosed pen. She lunges and pulls so hard on the leash that she soon stands erect on her hind legs, her face fixed in a snarl. Her guttural growl erases any doubt that she is unsure of her purpose.

At the other end of the ring, the "handler" shoves a feral pig, or hog, through a chute into the pen. He will use a cattle prod if the hog, who has faced these dogs before, hesitates. And just in case the hog had any notion of trying to defend himself, the handler has already taken the precaution of removing his tusks with bolt cutters.

The pit bull’s owner removes her leash. Before you can count to three-one-thousand, the dog tackles the hog in a cloud of dust. Her jaws tear into the hog’s flesh, maybe ripping his snout, tail, or an ear. The hog expresses his pain and fear through loud squeals that echo off the pen’s tin walls. The crowd is pleased; the dog pins the hog to the ground in a mere seven seconds. As with a wrestling pin, the mandatory three seconds elapse, and the operator declares the dog victorious. Adults and children cheer for the fast, powerful dog.

However, the dog’s jaws remain attached to the hog’s flesh. After what must seem like an eternity to the hog, people casually make their way over to end the match. If the hog struggles, the handler may give him a sharp boot to the head, then dig his heel into the hog’s chest to still him. He then uses a long, wooden blade called a breakstick to pry the dog’s jaws from the hog. It can take up to a minute to release the dog’s grip while the hog continues to writhe in agony and terror.

After the proud owner leads his dog away, the handler may pour apple vinegar into the hog’s wounds. The vinegar supposedly helps the wounds develop scabs so that the hog can be mauled again in a few days.

If enough children attend the hog dog fight, the operator will encourage a game of "catch the pig." In this "kiddie-friendly" game, the handler tapes the hog’s snout closed and encourages children to chase the terrified animal around the pen. At one event, secretly videotaped by Alabama’s NBC-15 station, the announcer remarked that the hog suffered a broken leg, something that failed to dissuade the children from trying to tackle the pathetic, hobbled animal.

At the end of the night, the organizer tallies his profits from admission and dog entry fees. And the owners with the fastest dogs leave with trophies and hundreds of dollars in prize money.

Also many times people go out with a pack of their dogs, and allow them to hunt and kill a wild bore, causing injuries to the dog and obviously the hog. It's barbaric and inhumane.

Hog dog fights are not new; they've likely been around for more than 25 years. The HSUS believes that hog dog fights regularly occur in at least ten states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

Hog dog fighting stems from hog hunting, a still-legal pastime in which hunters use dogs to find, chase, corner, and sometimes catch the hogs. Because feral hogs are considered a nuisance in rural areas, locals still take pleasure in "taking down" a hog. Farmers charge that hogs trample native plants, create competition among other wildlife for food, and invade farmers' crops. In many states, there are no limits on hunting, and hogs may be killed at any time of year, by any means.

When hunting feral hogs, dogs fall generally into two camps: "bay" dogs who only corner the hog, and "catch" dogs who actually clamp onto the feral hogs with their jaws. The latter dogs present a danger not only to the hog, but also to themselves, since the hog still has his powerful tusks. Traditional hog hunting first spurred "trials" in which dogs competed against each other to catch and corner hogs. Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials in Winnfield, Louisiana, has been an annual event since 1995, and is now billed as the "Super Bowl of Hog Dog Baying." There are even youth scholarships for the event.

While hog dog trials try to package themselves as respectable entertainment, they are often little more than glorified hog dog fights, similar to other bloodsports like dogfighting, bullfighting, and cockfighting.

"HSUS investigations revealed that hog dog fight contests are barbarically cruel events that pit a trained attack dog against a defenseless hog who has had his tusks removed," says Ann Chynoweth, director of The HSUS's Animal Cruelty and Fighting campaign. "The trapped hogs scream as the dogs maul them, and they typically suffer severe injuries."

"It's just another form of staged animal fighting that belongs in the same category as dogfighting and cockfighting, both of which are illegal in most of these states," she adds.

After attending large events in nearby cities, excited hog dog fight fans may return home and decide to start their own local event. The new enthusiast will use small cages to catch wild hogs, whose tusks will be promptly removed with the ever-handy bolt cutters. All it takes is a trained dog, a hog and word-of-mouth promotion, and news of an upcoming hog dog fight spreads like kudzu. When enough local interest forms—and it always does—the organizer sets a date and time. He will charge about six dollars per adult and let kids under 10 enter for free, making the attendance of children tempting for families trying to stretch their entertainment dollars.

"Hog dog fighting is even more inexcusable because it is staged animal fighting billed as family entertainment. Attend almost any hog dog event, and you’ll see mothers and children in the audience, cheering on the attacking dogs and their trainers," Chynoweth explains. "But family entertainment shouldn't include the intentional torture and injury of defenseless animals."

Edited by author Fri Aug 7, '09 5:37pm PST


Is your breed- next? Ban BSL.
Barked: Fri Aug 7, '09 5:30pm PST 
How is this still legal?
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Fri Aug 7, '09 7:14pm PST 
Well, I am not that sort of redneck hawg hunter, but what I have heard tell of is 'hog baying.'
Why on earth would you want to risk your important dog's life by letting it catch the hog? That makes no sense. confused


I like wet, fowl- smelling things
Barked: Sat Aug 8, '09 4:15am PST 
Hog hunting and hog fighting are two different things. Hog hunting by professionals using dogs (usually Dogo Argentinos) that are trained and wear kevlar vests for protection operate throughout Texas. Feral hogs and Javalinas do tons of damage to everything from backyards to golf courses and are prevalent throughout most of Texas. Most professional hunters are called in to hunt and capture the hogs, which are then taken and sold to slaughterhouses.

It is true that since the animals are considered a nuisance and are everywhere the rules are very lax and it is literally open season all year 'round which brings out the amateurs, dummies and an assortment of folks who have no idea what danger they are putting themselves or their dogs in. To call it a sport is also an overstatement

The fact that the hunting has sadly morphed into fighting, like dog fighting, cock fighting and the like is despicable.

I am not posting in support of any of this just trying to provide complete information. We encountered feral hogs on two different occasions while hiking, they are not animals to screw around with, fortunately their first instinct is to run.
Cassie 6/9/2000-10/14/2012

Feed me!!!
Barked: Sat Aug 8, '09 4:53am PST 
That is terrible and should be illegal, but I wouldn't consider it "hunting". Hunting is using the dogs to assist a human in locating and obtaining prey animals.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Sat Aug 8, '09 6:34am PST 
Exactly, Nick.
Exactly, Cassie.

It's not hunting to me if you hog/dog fight. That's gruesome. frown

Hunting is baying or in the case of other 'hounds,' treeing. Heck, I heard a hare can 'tear up your dog.' I wouldn't want my dog to catch a raccoon, even if he treed one. But I wouldn't be to surprised if none too smart people and creepy jerks cross the line upon occasion. Does that mean I want to outlaw 'treeing?' No.
Mr. Krumm

Barked: Sat Aug 8, '09 6:50am PST 
Yeah I agree with all the posts. Even still, I don't like it. The hogs are mean and cause great damage to surrounding areas. People do want them gone. They take the dogs out and often times lose one of their own. I'm real sensitive to any animal dying despite any reasoning or sport that justifies it. The dogs get up to the giant hog and tear it to shreds. I think hunters are becoming more and more inhumane, and I just don't agree. I watched a documentary on it and ended up turning the channel b/c it was just a bunch of idiots out for blood. And hog fighting, awful. Leave it to the humans to want to cage up something and watch it fight for its life. What a sick and twisted world we live in!

Code name:- Farmcollie
Barked: Sat Aug 8, '09 7:13am PST 
Hmmm...generally I'd be ok with hunting that provides food for people or is removing an animal that disrupts the native environment.

However, setting up fights for bloodsport is disgusting.

As to documentaries about hunting making people think hunters are becoming more inhumane...I have to say I'm suspicious about that.

Entertainment wise, what ends up more interesting-

a bunch of bloodthirsty idiots...
or a responsible hunter that explains safety procedures and regulations?

Personally, I'd find the latter more interesting, but I'm probably in the minority.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Sat Aug 8, '09 8:47am PST 
Granted, I am only distantly related to a 'hawg' hunter who actually doesn't use dogs, but:
IMHO, there is a humane way to hunt.thinking You eat your kill (or someone eats it) or rid the environment of something 'bad' (non-native or too many) or even (I came across this) use your Chessie to help gather the birds for an environmental study.

You don't put your dog in extreme danger. You are reasonable -- no catching of hogs, but maybe there are snakes out there.....thinking
You don't train him in an inhumane manner -- there's the rub there, some people have one idea of inhumane, others have another. Personally, given the right dog, I would figure that an elec. collar is less aversive than some of the 'old' techniques,' but more aversive in certain cases than PositiveGunDog training. PositiveGunDog training appears to be catching on, as I've seen it mentioned a lot on certain progressive dog blogs. Also, integrated GPS collars remove some of the problems with 'losing your dog.' Some but not all. thinking

You kill as quick and clean as you can. Say you are deer hunting, you shoot a deer (with whatever is legal in whatever is the legal season with a license). You don't break the law and if you shoot the deer and it runs off, you track it down to make sure it's not suffering. Some would say you use every possible part of the animal (I have a friend like that, she barters the skulls and horns of the sheep she slaughters.)

As far as the documentary, sometimes they are biased or have an agenda, Look at who made it, who produced it, who paid for it to be made. This will give you a hint, at least, about the politics behind it.thinking

Some may differ with me about hunting, and that's okay. smile

Q.E.D., baby,- Q.E.D.!
Barked: Sun Aug 9, '09 12:33am PST 
"Traditional hog hunting first spurred "trials" in which dogs competed against each other to catch and corner hogs. Uncle Earl’s Hog Dog Trials in Winnfield, Louisiana, has been an annual event since 1995, and is now billed as the "Super Bowl of Hog Dog Baying.""

Ummm....Uncle Earl's is about baying a hog, and they don't use catch dogs - they use primarily Catahoulas. Any contact with the hog is points against - the point is to "bay" the dog into position without touching it - to hold it for the "hunter". There is no catch dog or any such thing at a bay in contest; however, when a group of dogs is taken out to hunt down a hog, a variety of dogs are used, including Catahoulas, Black Mouth Curs, Plott Hounds and various crosses - and for catch dogs they use, as was said, Dogos or Pits, primarily.
Is it humane and reasonable? Guess it depends on who you are asking - the rancher who's getting his property destroyed probably won't think so.
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