3-Day Hog Hunt on Sarasota County Public Lands



June 2, 2012
SUBJECT: 3-Day Hog Hunt on Sarasota County Public Lands
CONTACT: Elise Matthes, President, Sarasota in Defense of Animals (SDA), telephone: 941-924-2505, e-mail:;

On Tuesday, June 5th, the Sarasota County Commissioners will vote on a plan whether to allow a 3-day hog hunt on publicly owned, environmentally sensitive lands on the Deer Creek Preserve & the Shewe Tract, approximately 9,000 acres. Please call the Commissioners at telephone: 941-951-5344, Fax: 941-861-5987 or Fax 941-861-5200 or e-mail them at:

The hog hunt is agenda item #10, and the meeting is at the South County Courthouse, 4000 South Tamiami Trail, in Venice beginning at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 5th. Please attend if you possibly can.

Please go to these links to witness how dogs are trained and the brutality of hog hunts:

Why animal protectionists are outraged at this hog hunt:

A blood sport should not be sanctioned on Sarasota Co. public lands.
Similar to the now banned “hog-dog rodeo”
Not since the “pigeon shoot” has any activity so barbaric been sanctioned by the County.
Hunters and their stimulated dogs will stomp over native plants.
Native wildlife will be disturbed and maybe killed during a hunt.
Dogs and the hogs are maimed and suffer in pain & dogs often die from wounds inflicted by hogs.
Trappers should be more creative to disguise traps.
Non-lethal methods should be explored to reduce hog population
A 3-day hog hunt is an extreme measure in reducing hog population.

We have written a letter (see below) to the Commissioners protesting the 3-day hog hunt:

Dear Commissioners:

I am writing this to you to ask you to vote against the proposal to conduct a 3-day hog hunt with dogs on the Deer Creek Preserve and the Shewe Tract.

In our meeting with Sarasota County’s Brooke Elias and in conversations with SWFWMD’s Stephanie Greene, I was shocked and dismayed that such a barbaric blood-sport was being planned for environmentally sensitive lands in Sarasota County. Not since the infamous “pigeon shoot” some years ago has the animal protection community learned of an organized cruel event of this magnitude being considered being sanctioned by our County.

We recognize the need for reducing the numbers of feral hogs that are sometimes harmful in rooting native plants and understand that trapping has removed over 300 hogs per year on Deer Creek and Shewe. In comparison Myakka State Park’s trapper has taken over 750 per year. Understandably, this is is one of those very, very difficult moral and practical circumstances, but a 3-day hunt is an extreme measure. In my contact with the International Director of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, he told me: “Hogs have become established throughout the South, and they are almost ineradicable. It’s futile, in most cases, for agencies to kill their way out of the problem.”

If the hogs have become “trap wise” as Ms. Elias says, I suggest that your contracted trapper be more creative in disguising his traps as our feral cat trapping team does when the cats become “trap wise”.

It is inconceivable that a group of hunters stomping through pristine lands blasting loud gun shooting would not be severely detrimental to native plants and scare the wildlife plus who knows what other animals they would shoot without anyone knowing otherwise. I have personally seen a film of a hog hunt and I was hoping to furnish you with this film so you could see for yourselves how brutal it is when the dogs attack a hog. Not only is the hog a victim of maiming and pain but the dogs are also victims as they suffer and often die from being torn up by the hog. One would hope that humans had evolved to a more civilized culture!

Sanctioning a hog hunt is the most inhumane activity that you will probably ever vote on and I have great faith and trust that you will disapprove this 3-day hog hunt as I and my animal rights colleagues respect you as compassionate representatives of Sarasota County.

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