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Santa Cruz Island pig slaughter
DawnWatch: Op-ed on Santa Cruz Island pig slaughter in San Francisco Chronicle 5/22/05
The Sunday, May 22 San Francisco Chronicle includes an op-ed by HSUS's Mike Markarian on the slaughter of 2,000 wild pigs on Santa Cruz Island, headed, "Pig eradication plan out of control." (Page C2.)
We learn that in an attempt to protect vegetation, Indian graves, and native species, "The Park Service and Nature Conservancy... have sentenced the pigs to death, and have hired a New Zealand company called Prohunt to conduct a 27- month lethal eradication program that began in early April. Pigs have very thick skulls and are difficult to kill with a quick, clean shot. Wounded pigs and orphaned piglets will be chased with dogs and finished off with knives and bludgeons."
The piece picks apart the premise that killing the pigs will help save native foxes. It discusses other mismanagement of the Channel Islands, such as horribly cruel and destructive poisoning schemes.
"When there is a need to step in and correct environmental damage caused by a species, animal welfare must be part of the calculus. The National Park Service and the Nature Conservancy haven't demonstrated that need, and certainly haven't considered a humane solution. A multimillion-dollar program to kill animals with guns, dogs, knives and beatings is cruel, wasteful and indefensible."
You can read the whole piece on line at:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/05/22/ING5OCQ5Q01.DTL OR http://tinyurl.com/ahdo8
It presents a great opportunity for letters to the editor on the way we treat members of other species -- you might wish to write about the treatment of wildlife, or about the treatment of other pigs. A good source of information is http://www.factoryfarming.com/pork.htm or for photos, http://www.factoryfarming.com/gallery/photos_gestation.htm
The San Francisco Chronicle takes letters at: letters [at] sfchronicle.com and advises, "Please limit your letters to 200 or fewer words ... shorter letters have a better chance of being selected for publication."
Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor.
(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)