SJ City Council amends gun law to allow eradication of feral pigs


A growing wild pig problem in the southern portion of San Jose prompted city leaders to step in and change a gun law within city limits Tuesday.

The San Jose City Council passed the urgency ordinance 8-3 at Tuesday’s council meeting, which made an exception for people with permits and licensed by the state Fish and Wildlife Department to shoot a firearm in the city for the purpose of controlling wild pig populations.

The amendment came from Councilman Johnny Khamis’ office after the Almaden Golf and Country Club, located at 6663 Hampton Drive, and other residents in the southern part of the city reported $10,000 and more of damage caused by feral pigs in the past few weeks, according to Shane Patrick Connolly, the councilman’s chief of staff.

“We’ve gotten dozens of calls and emails with people concerned about their kids,” Connolly said.

Apparently the population has grown and come in from the southern Almaden Valley because of dry conditions that have limited food and water supplies in the rural county area, Connolly said.

“They have come and evaded the populated area,” he said.

He said the pigs, which can weigh up to 200 pounds, have been seen during the daytime, sometimes in packs of 30, and have been behaving aggressively and are often unperturbed by humans.

According to Connolly, the pigs are not native to the area and are destroying native wildlife, and digging up hillsides.

Under the amended ordinance, the pigs can be shot and killed by permitted and licensed trappers.

No other wildlife falls under the new shooting amendment.

Residents concerned about pigs on their property are advised to visit the state’s Fish and Wildlife Department website for more information about a permit application and hiring a licensed trapper.

The dissenting votes were made out of concern of rushing the amendment, and the trio of councilmembers wanted more time to decide how to deal with the pig problem, Connolly said.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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