The officials in Enterprise, a small southeastern city in Alabama, have been examining its restrictive firearms ordinance while grappling with a booming hog problem.
Now the explosion of wild hogs is becoming a safety issue. The city ordinance bans the discharge of firearms within the city limits. However it allows the wild hogs to be shot with bows or shot while trapped inside pens.
But the pig problem raised questions about the ability to shoot wild pigs within city limits. The mayor learned recently in a City Council meeting that he can issue a permit to allow a rifle to be used to kill wild pigs.
Before the meeting, the city had turned to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help with the pig problem. A USDA official told councilors in the meeting about volunteering to help the city remove 22 hogs, including having to shoot a 400-pound boar.
He assured council members that his "particular part" of the USDA doesn’t "just go out there guns blazing or anything like that.’"
“The first thing I think about when setting up a trap is clear firing lanes,” the USDA official said, adding that his goal is to avoid damage to property.
“I foresee Enterprise within the next probably 12 to 18 months being like a mini Texas, which is overrun with pigs everywhere you go. … They produce that quickly, and they just run that rampant,” the USDA official continued.
The USDA expert informed city council members that a population of 100 hogs, if left undisturbed but fed and watered, could boom to 200,000 hogs in five years.
During the meeting, the city decided to approve a $20,000 contract with USDA for wildlife control.