Warning: The following story contains disturbing content which may upset some readers
A man from Canterbury was convicted and discharged in the Christchurch District Court on Friday for what the SPCA describes as the "repulsive and inhumane" killing of a wild pig.
Jarod Benbow pleaded guilty to the ill treatment of an animal after running down a wild pig with a four-wheel drive vehicle before stabbing it multiple times while it was trapped under the front wheel, the SPCA said in a media release on Monday.
The Judge noted that given the defendant’s remorse, previous good character and guilty plea, a sentence including a $2500 donation to the SPCA would be appropriate.
Benbow was also ordered to pay legal costs of $500 and court costs of $130.
It comes after the SPCA was alerted to a 16-second video shared to social media platform Snapchat on September 1, 2020, showing Benbow driving a vehicle across a paddock at night in pursuit of a pig.
The animal can be seen being chased along a fence line before being run over by the vehicle. The man can then be seen crouching over the squealing pig while its body is pinned under the vehicle’s front wheel, before making multiple attempts to stab the pig.
While the pig’s skin was pierced in the incident, the animal was not killed immediately, SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said in a statement.
“The way in which the pig was run over and stabbed several times is repulsive and inhumane,” Midgen said.
“In the video, the animal can be heard squealing in pain while it’s trapped under the vehicle, which would almost certainly have resulted in broken bones and would have caused a lot of unnecessary pain and distress.
“We need everyone to understand that all animals are sentient beings - this means that they feel fear, pain and distress - and deliberately causing this is neither lawful or acceptable.”
When asked if he believed his actions were an acceptable method of hunting pigs, the defendant said the pig was a pest and was damaging the paddocks.
A veterinarian who viewed the video said the pig would likely have suffered broken bones and internal organ rupture due to being hit by the vehicle, resulting in major distress and pain.
The multiple stab wounds would have also caused the animal significant suffering until its death.
Midgen said while it is not an offence to hunt or kill a wild animal under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, it “must be done humanely, and in line with generally accepted practice”.
“This method of hunting and killing was far from that, and this type of ill treatment of animals – regardless of whether they’re considered pests – will not be tolerated.”