A wild pig attack on a boy in North Queensland has prompted Katter Australia Party leader Bob Katter to call for licensed recreational shooters into protected estates.
Mr Katter, the Federal Member for Kennedy, said described these estates as having been “turned into pig pens, weed nurseries and fire starters by the green push” which has increased the threat on human lives.
“I’ve been surprised there haven’t been people killed,” said Mr Katter, pointing to the massive 40,000 feral pigs culled in five years by First Australian aerial shooters in the Gulf of Carpentaria alone.
Mr Katter blamed governments’ “pandering to the greenie vote at the expense of human lives and safety” for the increasing populations of dangerous, destructive and disease-carrying animals such as feral pigs, flying foxes and crocodiles encroaching on human territory.
“People are dying – governments have got to get serious,” said Mr Katter of the legal duty of care to prioritise human lives.
“In the case of feral pigs, an eradication campaign is needed, and it can be done – I don’t care what they say.”
Mr Katter said that aside from the environmental destruction wrought by feral pigs in protected estates – from the predation of endangered cassowaries to the erosion of river systems in so-called ‘pristine wildernesses’ – they also posed a significant and serious disease threat to Australia.
“A pig’s DNA is very similar to human DNA and there’s very dangerous diseases can run amok across pig populations,” said Mr Katter.
“Pigs are prime carriers of foot-and-mouth disease, and the minute we get foot-and-mouth in this country, it will wipe out Australia’s cattle industry.
“They’re breeding in the millions in our northern national park jungles and rainforests and we’re sitting on a time bomb.
“And those numbers are magnifying on a daily basis because the only really effective predator, man, has been removed and needs to be returned or the place will be overrun.
“This is what happens when you have your nature reserves and restrictive laws – all you’ve done is build fire starters and pig pens and weed nurseries.”
Mr Katter said licensed shooters were far more effective and preferable to baiting, which was indiscriminate to species such as native carrion birds, or trapping, which captured young cassowaries.
“Australians have hunted dangerous feral animals since they came to Australia – this is a legitimate recreational pursuit that would yield enormous social and environmental benefit for our country.”