SPCA appalled by inhumane killing of pig
A man who ran down a wild pig with a four-wheel drive vehicle, then stabbed it multiple times while it was trapped under the front wheel, has been prosecuted by SPCA for ill-treating an animal.
The defendant, following a guilty plea, was convicted and discharged at Christchurch District Court on Friday. The Judge noted that given his remorse, previous good character and guilty plea, a sentence including a $2,500 donation to SPCA would be appropriate. The defendant was also ordered to pay legal costs of $500 and court costs of $130.
On 1 September 2020, SPCA was notified about a disturbing video shared on social media platform Snapchat. The 16-second clip shows the defendant driving a vehicle across a paddock at night in pursuit of a pig. The animal is chased along a fence line, until the vehicle hits the pig and runs it over. The video then shows the defendant crouching over the squealing pig while its body is pinned under the vehicle’s front wheel, before making multiple attempts to stab the pig, piercing the skin, but not killing the animal immediately.
“The way in which the pig was run over and stabbed several times is repulsive and inhumane” says SPCA Chief Executive Andrea Midgen. “In the video the animal can be heard squealing in pain while it’s trapped under the vehicle, which would almost certainly have resulted in broken bones and would have caused a lot of unnecessary pain and distress. We need everyone to understand that all animals are sentient beings - this means that they feel fear, pain and distress - and deliberately causing this is neither lawful or acceptable.”
When asked if he believed his actions were an acceptable method of hunting pigs, the defendant said the pig was a pest and it was damaging the paddocks.
A veterinarian who viewed the video said the pig would likely have suffered broken bones and internal organ rupture due to being hit by the vehicle, resulting in major distress and pain. The multiple stab wounds would have also caused the animal significant suffering until its death.
“Whilst it isn’t an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to hunt or kill a wild animal, it must be done humanely, and in line with generally accepted practice. This method of hunting and killing was far from that, and this type of ill treatment of animals – regardless of whether they’re considered pests – will not be tolerated,” says Ms Midgen.
SPCA has noticed an increasing trend of animal abuse being filmed and posted on social media. Such behaviour is unacceptable and where SPCA has evidence of a crime, prosecution will always be a consideration.