Veterinarian arrested for illegal hunting ground - WSMV Channel 4

Veterinarian arrested for illegal hunting ground

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Veterinarian Dr. Stacy Smith recently pleaded guilty and had to shell out thousands in fines and court costs after he turned his Lynchburg land into an illegal hunting preserve for wild hogs.

Timothy Chapman, of Mount Pleasant, is facing charges for the same thing.

Wild hog distribution has become a big business in Tennessee, but it's illegal, and now the state is cracking down.  

"It just causes nothing but problems. We're just doing our best to try to keep the spread of the animals down," said Don King with the TWRA.  

Wild hogs are extremely destructive, according to wildlife officers. 

They ruin crops, destroy wild life habitats and spread diseases.

"They have the potential to carry Brucellosis which can be contracted by other animals, as well as humans," said King. 

Their populations are spreading fast, and wildlife officers said illegal distributors are to blame.

It's become such a problem the state launched a new campaign offering $3,500 for information leading to wild hog convictions.

Smith and Chapman are some of the first to feel the crackdown, but officers warn there will be more.

"We would hope that with these two cases people realize that there is a problem, there are people that deal in this kind of activity, and on the second hand, to deter other folks who might be doing it to stop doing it because it's not going to be beneficial to them," said King. 

Smith did not immediately return phone calls from Channel 4.

Chapman said he didn't realize what he was doing was illegal, and now he's done dealing with wild hogs.  

If you know of someone distributing wild hogs and want to report it, you can do so anonymously by calling 615-427-9508.

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