Feral hog hunts approved on 4-1 vote

A photo provided by the Southwest Florida Water Management District shows an area where wild hogs had uprooted pine saplings in Deer Prairie Creek Preserve.

With Commissioner Jon Thaxton casting the solitary “No” vote, the Sarasota County Commission today, July 10, voted 4-1 to allow a pilot program for hunting feral hogs to proceed in December and March 2013 on environmentally sensitive land in South County jointly owned and managed by the county and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Commissioner Carolyn Mason made the motion to allow the hunts to proceed, with Commissioner Joe Barbetta seconding it.

Commissioners pointed out that both the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee and its Parks and Recreation Advisory Council had approved the proposal, which will allow hunters with dogs to use either guns or knives to kill an unlimited number of hogs. The cost of a permit for the hunt will be $75.

Of the 11 speakers who addressed the commission during public comments, only one supported the hunt.

For more details, see the July 13 edition of The Sarasota News Leader.