The SPCA is investigating a hunter who filmed young pig dogs attacking a captive pig before stabbing it with a knife and boasting about it on social networking sites.
The video, titled Training pup on fattened boar, showed two pig dog puppies chewing on the live pig, which was captive in an overgrown backyard pen in Waikato.
The hunter and trainer of the dogs, who the Herald on Sunday has learned is a dairy farmer named Logan, was holding the pig's back legs so it could not escape.
He then stepped in and stabbed the pig in the chest, causing it to bleed while the dogs continued to attack it.
He eventually stuck the knife into the pig's throat, killing it. Officials saw the video last month, but it has since been taken down.
According to the Animal Welfare Act, an animal held in captivity, whether it was initially wild or not, is protected.
It is an offence to kill an animal in a way that causes it unnecessary pain or distress.
Hunter John Irvine, 71, said the video was posted on Trade Me to help sell the pig dog puppies, which were advertised at $800 each.
He was disgusted with Logan's methods, claiming they were inhumane.
"It was horrendous; the people who do this are sick," Irvine said. "I have been a hunter and I've never agreed on using dogs. I've seen plenty of dogs ripped up by boars with [their] insides hanging on the ground," Irvine said.
"It is something in New Zealand that needs to be addressed."
Logan, who would not reveal his last name, claimed the video showed common practices for training pig dogs.
"Pig hunters will often train a pup with a captured wild pig at home on the farm so the pup learns not to get in the wrong place," Logan said.
"A wild pig is very dangerous. Sticking a pig in the heart with a knife correctly is a humane way of killing them."
Logan claimed he had a signed letter from a butcher, who said the pig did not receive any bruising from the dogs.
"The public do not understand that a wild pig's skin is so thick it deflects bullets and that a pig will squeal or scream when it is not in pain."
Pig Hunting Association president Warren Peterson said he hadn't seen the video clip but didn't condone the practice of training pups in captivity.
"This type of action comes from the zero to 1 per cent of hunters I call dickheads."
Peterson, from Taranaki with 40 years' hunting experience, said 95 per cent of pig dogs were trained while out hunting.
He said a number of hunters had "training boars", which were used for teaching dogs how to bail up a pig.
"A training boar knows how to handle the dogs and the dogs never even touch it. Training boars have been skilled up."
SPCA inspector Sue Baudet confirmed they were investigating the video.
If a charge was laid it would be the first of its kind in New Zealand, Baudet said.By Chloe Johnson @BackpackJourno Email Chloe