SHARECOMMENTMORE

Venice, Florida -- Wild hog hunts will be allowed on a piece of county-owned property in Sarasota, despite protests of the plan.

County Commissioners voted 4-1 late Tuesday afternoon to approve two hogs hunts on the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District says the hog population in the area is out of control.

Since October, they've trapped more than 300 wild hogs.

"They tear up vegetation, they disturb the soil, and cause an immense amount of damage," said Stephanie Green, with SWFMD.

The organization estimates there are hundreds, if not thousands, more hogs in the area.

This plan calls for 30 hunters, along with their attack dogs, knives, and guns to take out as many hogs as they can in a3-day period in December and March.

Similar hunts are currently allowed throughout the organization's 16-county district.

"What we want to do is pull out as many hogs in a short amount of time as we can," Green explained.

But becausethe property is co-owned by Sarasota County, commissioners had to sign off on the hunt.

That brought a couple dozen people out to Tuesday's meeting toprotest the plan, a number of them carrying signs to urge commissioners to vote against the idea.

"The methods used are cruel to the pigs, often fatal to the dogs, and dangerous to the humans involved," one said.

"There are more humane ways to call a herd than with guns, dogs, and knives. If it really is necessary," another argued.

SWFMD tells 10 News even if commissioners had voted down the plan, they have no plans to stop the hog hunts in other parts of the state.

SHARECOMMENTMORE