Residents of South San Jose will soon be able to go “hog wild” in their efforts to eradicate the overabundance of feral pigs that have moved into their neighborhood.

On Tuesday, the San Jose City Council voted 8-3 to approve the urgency ordinance allowing those with a state depredation permit to shoot these pigs using a legal firearm.

Councilmembers Khamis and Constant proposed an exception to the prohibition against shooting firearms in city limits for any person authorized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife with a depredation permit.

Khamis and Constant’s proposal stems from the proliferation of non-native feral pigs in the Almaden neighborhood of South San Jose.

“I, and my colleague Pete Constant, brought this proposal forward in response to safety concerns expressed by our residents and over $10,000 in property damage that was experienced at residential properties and at the Almaden Country Club,” stated Councilman Khamis in an email. “These pigs are very destructive and are not considered native species.”

Santa Clara County has already approved similar ordinances allowing for such methods to dispose of the pigs in unincorporated areas.

A number of exceptions to the ban on firing guns within city limits already exist, including passes for peace officers, soldiers, city employees and contract biologists who have been trained to use weapons as part of the Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Program, at a shooting gallery or club and for self-defense.

California Fish and Game Code §4181 allows “any owner or tenant of land or property that is being damaged or destroyed or is in danger of being damaged or destroyed by elk, bear, beaver, wild pig, or gray squirrels, may apply to the department for a permit to kill the mammals.”

“Because trappers are not allowed to relocate the animals (live) once trapped, and chemical euthanization is extremely costly and impractical, the ordinance allows the trappers to euthanize the trapped animal by gun shot, as recommended by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife,” stated Khamis.

The ordinance takes effect immediately and will expire in three months on February 5, 2014.

The Council further directed city staff to return to the council with a more long term, holistic approach to San Jose’s feral pig issue.

View the urgency ordinance at San Jose’s city website.