Warning to CQ pig hunters as life-threatening disease escalates
PIG hunter Allison Lynch says she has seen first hand the devastating impact of leptospirosis.
Ms Lynch lost her close friend to the killer disease in 2011 after she said he ingested infected soil on his cattle property.
There are concerns Central Queensland pig hunters are at a growing risk following an escalation of the disease among wild pigs.
Earlier this week, Rockhampton regional Councillor Ellen Smith shared an ABC news report about the problem, urging the region's property owners to be vigilant.
Cr Smith said there was a problem with pigs in many rural areas around the region.
"There are more than the usual number of pigs carrying leptospirosis but there's always a risk of catching the disease when handling wild animals," Cr Smith said.
"Pigging has historically always been a means of reducing numbers, and graziers often let piggers onto their properties for this purpose."
Ms Lynch knows all about the disease after losing her close friend, Allan Clarke.
She said he caught the disease through urine-soaked soil on his property that it's believed he breathed in.
After his wife took him to hospital in the early hours of the morning with "flu-like symptoms and chest pain", his temperature sky-rocketed.
When medical staff were unable to stabilise him, he was airlifted to Brisbane.
However, whilst in the air he went into a coma and began "bleeding from every orifice".
"He was a cattle farmer, so it's not just pig hunters that are being affected by this disease," she said.
Ms Lynch said the pigging industry had stringent measures to eliminate the risk of exposure to the disease.
"It's very rare that someone will die from this as it can be treated if you get medical attention," she said.
"It's all about self-sanitisation. Don't
Despite calls to increase pig hunting in areas to fight the outbreak, Ms Lynch said "pig hunting is a dying industry".
"Pig hunters are copping the rough end of the pineapple... and it's a shame because there are some bloody good people out there chasing pigs," she said.
Cr Smith said anyone experiencing problems with wild pigs should contact Rockhampton's pest management officers and they would assist in providing advice, traps or bait for property owners to implement privately.