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Feral Animals

Our farm is home to far more than just sheep and cattle. As well as the myriad of native animals (kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, birds, etc) we have a large number of non-native, “feral” animals. The most abundant are pigs, foxes and goats, and there are also deer and rabbits and probably more who are a bit shy and we don’t know about.

As far as the foxes, pigs and goats go, we have a legal obligation to “control” the population, or, to put it bluntly, kill them. The Local Land Services regularly conduct aerial shooting programmes, but having seen the quality of their marksmanship, we choose to not to participate.

We regularly muster and sell the feral goats, for which there is a growing market both locally and for export.

Pigs and foxes are another matter. The method of control recommended by government bodies is through the use of 1080 (sodium monofluroacetate) poison baits. We regularly hear the sounds of foxes screaming in the night after our neighbours bait them. 1080 takes 24 – 48 hours to kill and causes a lot of suffering. Our view is that just because an animal competes with our livestock for resources, doesn’t give us the right to torture it.

We’ll deal with the fox story at another time, for now, we want to talk pigs. They do cause us problems; they dig a lot, to the point where right now, we have a couple of hundred acres in total looking “ploughed”. We can hunt or trap them and dispatch them humanely, but all that does is create a niche for more to move in. They aren’t taking the place of any native animal, as they utilise different resources to any Australian mammals.

We do kill a number of pigs each year, which keeps the authorities happy, but we would prefer to view them as a source of meat which we could sustainably harvest. Wild pigs have a very different diet to domestic pigs, which means wild pork has a different taste to domestically grown pork. In our opinion, the wild flavour is far superior.

When we talk to people about eating wild animals, we are invariably asked about parasites. In our experience, the wild animals we have caught are very clean; a hundred generations of natural selection has meant that any susceptibility to parasite infection has been bred out.

There is no simple avenue for us to get the wild pigs processed, so we are considering setting up our own processing plant, if we can sort out the many regulatory hurdles. We’d love to hear from our customers if wild pork would be something you’d like to get from us in the future. If we could get things established, we may also be able to sell goat and rabbit, all harvested from our farm.

 

 

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6 comments to Feral Animals

  • Patrick

    As you know, I am definitely for this.

    Yum yum pig’s bum.

    Paddy

  • Colin

    Yes, I want ALL the bacon….

    And whatever else you can find…

    Colin

  • Clair

    We tried to get some meat from a wild pig when a mate went piggin\’ recently but couldn\’t get anything coz of 1080 baits around. We\’d be up for it…especially for making Danish pork liver dish. Goat meat sells out quick here with Indian and Nepalese population and sometimes sold thawed not fresh. Most other countries have high rabbit consumption and with high feed to meat conversion rates compared to cattle why not.
    Too right patty , yum yum pigs bum.

  • Erin

    I’d definitely be interested.

  • Sam

    I\’d definitely be keen to try the wild pork or any other feral animal you deemed good eating. I\’d be curious though, whether there\’d be any way of knowing if these animals foraged solely/predominantly on your property where chemical/poison-free principles are followed rather than coming from neighbors whose 1080 tendencies might also extend to other agrochemicals.

  • john

    I am interested wild pork and goat, just younger animals, not rabbit we bread our own for food.

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