An attentive pet food consumer alerted me to a possible concern of the wild boar supplier to Champion Pet Food (Orijen/Acana) was providing canned hunts.  Here is what Champion pet food told me – and then didn’t tell me.

Thanks to one of you great readers, I was alerted to a concern with Champion Pet Food’s wild boar supplier – Hog Wild Specialties.  This farm which raises wild boar – also hosts canned hunts.  A ‘canned hunt’ is defined as

“a trophy hunt in which an animal is kept in a confined area, such as in a fenced-in area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill. According to one dictionary, a canned hunt is a “hunt for animals that have been raised on game ranches until they are mature enough to be killed for trophy collections.” 

Canned hunting has been banned or restricted in 20 states of the USA, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

From the Orijen Pet Food website – on the “Meet our Farmers” page you’ll find “Hog Wild Ranch-raised Wild Boar”.  The Orijen website also explains these ‘wild boar’ on the Hog Wild farm diets are supplemented by the farm owners…

“Our animals’ diets primarily consist of hay, alfalfa, and grain.”

In other words, the wild boar are fed…by humans…which we can assume the animals have little fear of humans.

The Hog Wild Specialties website – under “boar hunting” states

“Group & Individual Bow Hunting Packages Available”.  “Large trophy hunts are $600 and up, depending upon availability of animals.  All have tusks!” 

In an article about Hog Wild on Canada.com

“The boar-hunting business, which pays the bulk of the bills at Hog Wild Specialties, has also boomed, with roughly 150 parties of hunters coming through the ranch in 2011.”  And “To call them wild animals is slightly misleading: the Hagmans top up the boars’ diet of wild forage and roots with grains and silage produced mainly on their property, just to keep the animals from getting skinny over the winter.” 

There are YouTube videos of a hunt at Hog Wild Specialties (which I have to admit I did not watch) – with a comment stating…

“That was like shooting fish in a barrel ,! wtf”

The evidence didn’t look positive – so I sent Champion Pet Food an email asking to speak with someone about this concern.  Bonnie called me very promptly (3/25/14).  I shared with her the concerns of this supplier providing canned hunts and it appeared she had no previous knowledge of this activity.  I shared my biggest concern of the canned hunts was the fact the farm fed the animals since birth – thus causing them to have little fear of humans.  I told her I didn’t feel Champion should support a farmer that sells canned hunts.  She asked if I would give her until Thursday (3/27/14) for a response.  As of today, eight days past her date for responding – 3/27/14 – I have not heard back from Bonnie of Champion Pet Food.

Pet food consumers deserve a response from Champion Pet Food.  I appreciate that Champion is providing some transparency on their website (listing some ingredient suppliers) – but if as the evidence appears Wild Hog Specialties does indeed provide canned hunts, in my opinion no pet food manufacturer should support a farmer that hosts canned hunts.

Personal Disclosure:  As a kid, my Father, Brother, and Grandfather used to hunt.  I never liked it and never hunted myself.  My only acceptance of the hunting was that they never ‘trophy hunted’ – our family ate the meat of every animal killed.

 

Note:  Orijen’s response received.  Click Here to read.

 

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

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