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New bill allows for hunting of destructive wild pigs in California without a permit

By Velena Jones

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    NAPA, California (KOVR) — A new bill looks to stop the spread of wild pigs throughout California. The goal is to prevent damage and potential illnesses coming from swine.

Shawn Chittim owns SC2 Outfitters, a company that creates hunting experiences.

“I have been sold out of pig hunts since November,” he said. “It in huge demand.”

He has seen the impacts hog overpopulation can bring, like leaving holes and tearing up land.

“When you are talking Sonoma, Napa, or Central California, now you’re talking a direct destruction of a revenue-based crop or vineyard,” Chittim explained.

Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) wants to reduce the population that he says brings potential health risks linked to food-borne illnesses and has cost the state $1.5 billion in damages.

“It is completely out of control,” explained Dodd. “This is not only a problem for our farmers, agriculture, recreation areas, also individuals’ homes. This is also an environmental problem when they get into our creeks and streams.”

In a new bill, Senator Dodd is looking to eliminate the need for permits, which would allow more people access without the fees.

CBS13 wanted to know: How this is any different when people can hunt year-round with a hunting license or tag?

“Twenty percent of the amount of feral pigs are being killed a year but that is neutralized by the amount of new births of pigs that are happening. So, we really are not even making a dent in the problem,” said Dodd. “At the end of the day, what we need to do is make it easier to take more.”

Chittim explained before 1992, the state did not require licenses or tags to hunt hogs. If done right, he believes the bill could help reduce the population without extinguishing it.

“That’s the hunter’s responsibility: to manage it while protecting it,” he said.

Some farmers have supported the bill. There has been no official opposition to the idea, as the bill was just introduced this week.

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