In January the Fund for Animals filed suit against the Pennsylvania Game Commission in an effort to stop the hunting of boars at the Tioga Hunting Preserve in Pennsylvania.
The Tioga Hunting Preserve is a 1,500 acre canned hunt operation that allows people to hunt boar, deer and elk at $500-$2,000 per animal. The web site for the preserve guarantees hunters that they will kill the animal of their choice in no more than two days.
In its lawsuit, the Fund for Animals argues that exotic boar, such as Russian and European boars, are “protected mammals” under Pennsylvania’s Game and Wildlife Code and so cannot legally be hunted.
In a press release announcing the lawsuit, Fund for Animals national director Heidi Prescott said,
Neither the Game and Wildlife Code nor the regulations of the PGC permit the canned shooting of wild boars. Although we have brought this to the attention of the PGC on several occasions and asked the agency to order the Tioga Preserve to stop offering canned hunts of protected mammals, the PGC has failed to take enforcement action.
In response to the lawsuit, Tioga Hunting Preserve spokesman Jerry Feaser told the Associated Press that the Pennsylvania Game Commission lacks jurisdiction over swine. Feaser told the Associated Press,
Let’s put it to you this way, for comparison. If I’m a farmer and I have some dairy cows, and I decide for some reason to allow some people to come in and shoot them, there’s nothing the Game Commission can do.
This is not the first time that the issue of whether or not the PGC has jurisdiction over boars has come up. The PGC blames another canned hunt operation, Big Mike’s Hunting and Fishing Preserve, for allowing wild boards to escape from its grounds where they have caused numerous problems for wildlife and residents.
The PGC wants all the boars at Big Mike’s killed, but maintains that under existing law it only has jurisdiction over native species. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture maintains jurisdiction over non-native species, but its jurisdiction extends only to certifying wild boars as healthy and free of disease. What happens to wild boar after they are brought to Pennsylvania currently falls through the gaps of both group’s jurisdiction.
Fund for Animals goes to Pennsylvania court to put the lid on “canned hunt.” Press release, Fund for Animals, January 14, 2004.
Game officials say wild boar problems continue in western Pa.. Associated Press, November 2, 2003.
Game Commission sued over regulation of boar hunts. Associated Press, January 15, 2004.