The city council passed an emergency ordinance, 8-3, this week that allows the capture and shooting of the pigs for the next three months after obtaining a permit from California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. The animals, a mixture of wild boars and pigs weighing up to 300 pounds, have roamed the Almaden Hills for centuries and do occasionally venture into civilization.
But, for the past two weeks, dozens have been gathering in groups and wandering through suburban neighborhoods. They tear up lawns—$10,000 in damage at the Almaden Golf and Country Club—and intimidate the citizenry, although no attacks on people have been reported.
On Tuesday, the city fought back. But City Councilman Johnny Khami made clear it was nothing personal. “It's not my intention to go out and commit a pig genocide,” he told the San Jose Mercury News. But he also didn’t want to see a human “casualty.”
They just want the pigs gone. That is complicated by the fact it’s not known for certain why the animals are around, although hunger and thirst are suspected. San Jose Animal Care and Services Director Jon Cicirelli told the San Francisco Chronicle that you can kill them, but they’ll keep coming back.
He had a different idea. Build a strong barrier between humans and pigs, and, perhaps, electrify it. Another suggestion from a different quarter involved the already legal option of humanely euthanizing the pigs with injections. But that is costly and makes the meat inedible.