Pig trap success

Pig trap designer Garry Parker, property owner Steve Johnston and fellow grazier Steve Hartmann with the proof of the pig trap.

Pig trap designer Garry Parker, property owner Steve Johnston and fellow grazier Steve Hartmann with the proof of the pig trap.

A couple of good seasons and a drop in the number of pig hunters have led to a surge in the number of feral pigs causing damage around Dundee, but one property owner is taking action.

Steve Johnston said pigs are making a major nuisance of themselves  rooting up paddocks on his 1000 hectare Oakhurst property and destroying valuable feed reserves. Pigs, who are omnivores, are also known to savage livestock and although Mr Johnston can’t definitely attribute past losses to pigs or foxes, he’s keen to reduce the invaders before lambing season starts in the next couple of months.

“We’ve got to get ahead of them,” he said.

To that end local Dundee resident Garry Parker came up with a simple design for a pig trap comprising a couple of sheets of weldmesh and steel pickets with a self-closing gate, and it’s had considerable success.

The trap is baited with corn and the gate left ajar for several days to encourage the pigs to visit. When they’re accustomed to the free feed, the gate is propped open with a stick. The first pig to enter knocks over the stick causing the gate to close, but the others are happy to push the gate open to get to the feed but they can’t exit.

The trap captured nine feral pigs in its first attempt, and Mr Johnston is in the process of a second run.

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