Feral pigs are making their way into Sydney from the central west as people are transporting the animals dead and alive back into the metropolitan areas.
Rural Crime manager, Detective Bob Newman of Bathurst Police said highway patrol officers recently stopped 'pig hunters' from Sydney in Bathurst for a vehicle inspection, finding two live pigs near the rear of the utility.
"One pig was hog tied and placed live in an esky while the other pig was tied to the roof of a dog cage on the vehicle. There was also a dead pig on board," Detective Newman said.
"The pigs were euthanased on the spot and the three men in the vehicle should be charged with both animal cruelty offences as well as transport feral animal offences."
Although the occupants of the vehicle told officers they were planning on eating the pigs, police suspect something more sinister.
"We strongly suspect they were planning on releasing them into the scrub, fatten them and then use them for hunting training in the future," Detective Newman said.
Cumberland Livestock Health and Pest Authority ranger Steve Parker said he trapped three mature pigs last week on government land in north-western Sydney and incidences such as these were on the rise.
"Local knowledge tells us that these pigs were brought in from the other side of the Blue Mountains and dumped in the Londonderry area," Mr Parker said. "The real issue is with disease control. Blood tests from two of the three pigs trapped and shot most recently indicated they were carriers of the bacterial disease Leptospirosis."
Leptospirosis is not only infectious to cattle through pig urine, causing abortions in cattle who are infected, but could also possibly infect humans.
Fines for transporting feral pigs can be up to $22,000.