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Farmer Eaten by Own Hogs: Do Livestock Intentionally Attack Humans?

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October 03, 2012

Farmer Eaten by Own Hogs: Do Livestock Intentionally Attack Humans?

By Chad Love

In the wake of the disturbing news that an Oregon farmer was apparently eaten by his own hogs last week, the always-entertaining "Explainer" section of the news site Slate tried to determine if livestock deliberately targets humans for attack.

From this story on Slate
Do livestock intentionally kill their owners? Yes. Cattle kill approximately 22 Americans per year nationwide, and the animals deliberately attack their victims in 75 percent of those cases, according to a 2009 study. About one-third of bovine killers have a history of aggressive behavior. Swine likely kill fewer people than cattle do, but there are no reliable data on this question. The CDC’s mortality statistics group together all mammal attacks apart from those perpetrated by rodents, dogs, and humans. The death count in the mammal-attack category averages about 73 per year, including cattle-related mortalities.

As someone who survived the abject terror of raising two hogs as a child (and still bear the psychological trauma of said experience) I know where I stand on the issue: Don't ever turn your back on Wilbur. Hogs are evil, calculating beasts that are best experienced as sausage, chops, and bacon.

Considering the ever-increasing population of wild hogs and the ever-increasing popularity of hunting them, has anyone ever heard of a documented case of feral hogs attacking and eating a human, or is that strictly a barnyard hazard?

Comments (11)

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from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Dude, pigs just don't play by the rules. Everyone should know that.

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from maynardtl8 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I never thought bacon could betray us. The horror, the horror...

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from stick500 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I was under the impression that domestic pigs were the #1 killer of farmers compared to other animals but according to this article that may not necessarily be the case- it happens a lot more often than we hear about.
Was on hand for a small-scale hog slaughter at a family farm a several decades ago and the pigs that weren't on the chopping block happily ate the all the leftovers from their comrades.

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from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

During the Civil War it was documented that feral hogs would eat the bodies of fallen soldiers.

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from steve182 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Biting the hand that feeds?...literally? Tough way to go.

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from FOX wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I know some people who raise hogs and one day he got bit before he bandaged the wound he went and shot the pig that bit him. He said once they know they can hurt you they'll start trying. So yes both him and I believe they can and do intentionally hurt people.

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from Kenton wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

My Dad raised hogs when I was growing up. The only time I saw aggressive behavior from domestic hogs were the mothers w/new pigs and rarely, older boars. Most mamma hogs are very protective of their young and some will attack. Hogs are omnivores and will eat about anything. My guess is the farmer in the story may have suffered some other kind of death and the piggies had him for dinner after he was already gone.

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from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Pigs are supposed to be more intelligent than dogs, but they still act on instinct. They don't have malice aforethought. I do believe they will be aggressive when threatened or to protect their young, and would be an opportunistic eater of people, but don't think they can plan on harming humans.

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from badsmerf wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Flyfishing on cattle lands is a tricky adventure. I've been chased over barbed wire fence by bulls and no doubt would have been trampled.

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from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Obviously someone never watched "Deadwood". Anyone who's a fan of Mr. Wu knows that a group of pigs were the original way to dispose of a few bodies.

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from Blue Ox wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Pigs don't give a f***, they will eat anything.
And if they sense even the slightest weakness, they'll knock you down without a second thought.
One can only hope the farmers lights went out before the pigs got to him.

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Post a Comment

from benjaminwc wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Dude, pigs just don't play by the rules. Everyone should know that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from maynardtl8 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I never thought bacon could betray us. The horror, the horror...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I was under the impression that domestic pigs were the #1 killer of farmers compared to other animals but according to this article that may not necessarily be the case- it happens a lot more often than we hear about.
Was on hand for a small-scale hog slaughter at a family farm a several decades ago and the pigs that weren't on the chopping block happily ate the all the leftovers from their comrades.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruisedsausage wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

During the Civil War it was documented that feral hogs would eat the bodies of fallen soldiers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Biting the hand that feeds?...literally? Tough way to go.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FOX wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

I know some people who raise hogs and one day he got bit before he bandaged the wound he went and shot the pig that bit him. He said once they know they can hurt you they'll start trying. So yes both him and I believe they can and do intentionally hurt people.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kenton wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

My Dad raised hogs when I was growing up. The only time I saw aggressive behavior from domestic hogs were the mothers w/new pigs and rarely, older boars. Most mamma hogs are very protective of their young and some will attack. Hogs are omnivores and will eat about anything. My guess is the farmer in the story may have suffered some other kind of death and the piggies had him for dinner after he was already gone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Pigs are supposed to be more intelligent than dogs, but they still act on instinct. They don't have malice aforethought. I do believe they will be aggressive when threatened or to protect their young, and would be an opportunistic eater of people, but don't think they can plan on harming humans.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from badsmerf wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Flyfishing on cattle lands is a tricky adventure. I've been chased over barbed wire fence by bulls and no doubt would have been trampled.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Obviously someone never watched "Deadwood". Anyone who's a fan of Mr. Wu knows that a group of pigs were the original way to dispose of a few bodies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 1 year 27 weeks ago

Pigs don't give a f***, they will eat anything.
And if they sense even the slightest weakness, they'll knock you down without a second thought.
One can only hope the farmers lights went out before the pigs got to him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment