CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Charlotte County resident first contacted Fox 4 after finding dozens of wild hog carcasses in Tippecanoe Environmental Park. The resident said he felt that laws were being broken regarding the trapping and hunting of wild hogs. But Charlotte County officials said not so fast, what's happening at the park is legal.
A spokesperson with Charlotte County said through a cooperative agreement a USDA trapper is allowed to shoot feral hogs and leave their carcasses in the wild.
The county issued a statement saying:
"Charlotte County contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to manage feral hog populations on county property as a condition of grants received to purchase preserve land. U.S.D.A. trappers euthanize hogs captured in cages and dispose of them on the same property away from all marked trails. Hogs depicted in the Fox 4 video were not on or near marked trails. While illegal hunting on county property has occurred in the past, the county determined that was not the case in this situation."
A licensed hog trapper for 15 years, Craig Greene said he's always known the laws to be different.
"You can either move it to slaughter or you can bury it but it has to be a minimum of 3 feet deep and then you have to lime it," said Greene.
Greene said he's never been allowed to shoot and leave a hog lying on county property.
“You have to remove the body that’s it. If I have to follow the law as a licensed trapper through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services why shouldn’t anybody else?,” said Greene.
A spokesperson from the USDA issued a statement saying:
"The feral swine were removed in accordance with AVMA Guidelines on euthanasia, which includes using a firearm or trapping and then euthanizing with a firearm. The feral swine carcasses were disposed of in matter outlined in the cooperative service agreement and not left on a marked hiking trail. Wildlife Services follows all applicable Federal, State and Local laws."
CLICK HERE for more information from the Department of Agriculture
CLICK HERE for more information from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services