Saturday, April 25, 2015

Truth about House Bill 288

There is currently a bill pending the Natural Resource Committee here in the Louisiana House of Representatives.  House Bill No. 288 seeks to make it illegal to transport live, feral hogs in the state of Louisiana.  You can find the proposed bill HERE.

There have been good discussions between Representatives and people like myself who strive to protect our rights as hog hunters.  These discussion include frequent mention of the growing 'feral hog population' in the state and the destruction they bring to farmlands and such.  It seems that lawmakers are seeking a solution to this problem.  Understandable. 

A recent online article authored by the Outreach Coordinator for the Louisiana Wildlife Federation was published in what seems to be an attempt to rally the people of our state in support of this bill.  In my opinion, it was missing a lot of really big details.  In an attempt to paint the whole picture, I commented on this article-only to see that my comment is 'awaiting moderation'.  I'm curious as to if the administrator will allow my statements to be published-I guess we shall see. 

So...let me paint the rest of the picture here.  Below you will find the reasons we should be AGAINST Louisiana HB 288 and ways you can make a difference.


1. There is already a law in place making it illegal to release feral hogs.  The law (RS 56:20) can be found in its full text HERE.  This bill is overkill.

2.  This bill would seriously hinder those of us who hunt feral hogs.  Less hog hunting means less hogs killed.  Less hogs killed mean a larger feral hog population.

3.  Making it illegal to transport feral hogs means hunters can no longer bring a hog to a pen in order to train hunting dogs.  Hunting hogs with dogs has proven very effective.  Untrained dogs means less hogs hunted and killed out of the population.

4.  This bill would shut down many benefits and fundraisers with hog hunts and bay competitions being the main event.

5.   The bill would have an adverse impact on many businesses whose livelihood and income revolve around hog hunting.

6. Stopping the transport of hogs or requiring a person to purchase a permit will not stop the spread of these animals.  There have been no studies from other states showing the effectiveness of such a measure, that I am aware of.

7. This bill has so much 'grey area' on classification, process, and enforcement. This leaves it wide open for manipulation, misunderstanding, and abuse. 

8.  Many people castrate boar hogs in order to feed until they can be slaughtered and consumable.  This bill would result in less safe, consumable, natural meat in many people's freezers.

9.  This is Louisiana.  100 degree summertime weather makes it unsuitable to kill a hog on-site and it remain good to eat before it makes it into the freezer.  Live transport solves that problem.

10.  This is NOT an effective 'hog population management tool'.  What is an effective measure is to encourage, not hinder, the hog hunter.  Taking blind steps because of a lack of other solutions is NOT the answer.

11.  BIG GOVERNMENT.  As laid out above, there is NO benefit towards reducing the population through such a law.  There is also a law already in place that makes the liberation of hogs into the wild illegal.  So why pass a law that's reasoning seems duplicate to an existing law?  Why more taxpayer money spent on an ineffective means to an end?

12.  Heritage and tradition are a big deal.  Such a law would stop and/or discourage many families from keeping their kids in the woods, harvesting their own meat, and helping curb the population problem.  That's a no-win for everybody involved and would eliminate one more good, wholesome activity for the family and children.

None of these points were made in the article mentioned above.  Perhaps now you can see the whole picture.  If you want to make a difference, here's how....

**PLEASE be respectful and educated on the issues above when contacting Representatives.  If not, you will only hurt our cause, not help it.**

1.  HERE you can find the contact information for the author of the bill if you feel you have more to offer to the conversation.  Be prepared by knowing he is open to ideas that will curb the population and not hinder the hunter.

2.  HERE you can find a list of the committee members of where HB288 currently sits.  By clicking on each member's name you will find individual contact information.

3.  HERE you can find an online petition to sign in opposition to this bill. 

It's clear that people are pushing measures to stop our heritage of hog hunting.  All the opinions in the world don't matter unless they're heard where they need to be heard. 


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