Tuesday 17 September 2019

Feral hogs: One man’s surprising defence of US gun laws goes viral

“Legit question for rural Americans — How do I kill 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small children play?”

Feral pigs (John Carnemolla/Getty Images)
Feral pigs (John Carnemolla/Getty Images)

By Megan Baynes, PA

As two mass shootings brought the issue of gun control back to the forefront of US public debate, one man’s unlikely defence of the second amendment – the right to bear arms – has gone viral.

Twitter user William McNabb, who identifies as a libertarian, waded into an online discussion on the subject, asking: “Legit question for rural Americans — How do I kill 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small children play?”

The question was in response to a tweet by American singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, who said: “If you’re on here arguing the definition of ‘assault weapon’ today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one.”

His query quickly went viral, with more than 11,000 likes and more than 4,000 responses.

Even Simpsons writer Bill Oakley shared a fake draft for an episode involving Bart and 30-50 feral hogs.

Although many assumed the tweet was a joke, Mr McNabb, from South Arkansas, confirmed his tweet was entirely serious — and that he has fought off feral hogs at least four times.

He later said: “I’ve shot and trapped them. I’ve gotten dogs to try to keep them away. I’ve never used an assault rifle or own one. I used a .270 hunting rifle to kill them.

“Why would I spend over 20k on a fence (without taking into consideration of how to cross a swamp) when I can legally own a weapon at fraction of cost to protect my family?”

According to estimates from the US Department of Agriculture, wild pigs cause 1.5 billion US dollars (approximately £1.23 billion) of damage across America every year.

However, that estimate was made 10 years ago and the feral hog population has continued to grow.

The Missouri Department of Conservation called them “invasive pests that need to be eliminated”.

It added that: “A sounder, or group, of hogs can demolish a crop field in one night.”

PA Media

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