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Two Butler County Residents Convicted for Violating Wildlife Laws
October 28, 2009
Dusty Casselman, 37, of Georgiana, Ala., was convicted in Butler County district court on September 22, 2009, for illegally transporting and selling feral swine. Officers with the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) began an investigation of Casselman after receiving complaints from a citizen of illegal hunting activities.
In addition to the feral swine charges, Casselman was also convicted of hunting on the lands of another without permission, hunting without a license and failure to wear hunter orange. Casselman was videotaped entering private property to hunt deer without a permit. Judge McDonald Russell ordered Casselman to pay $3,244 in fines and court costs. Casselman also received a 180 day suspended jail sentence, one year of unsupervised probation and a two-year suspension of his hunting privileges.
Casselman was trapping feral swine from the wild and selling them for release into the wild for hunting purposes. Alabama regulation has prohibited the release of feral swine into any area of the state since 1997, except onto the property from which they were originally taken.
Feral swine are domesticated hogs which have escaped or been released and established wild breeding populations. Feral swine cause extensive damage to agricultural fields, wildlife habitat and also carry diseases such as brucellosis which can be transmitted to humans and other animals. Females begin breeding at seven or eight months of age and can be responsible for more than 1,000 feral swine in a five year period. It is estimated that feral swine cause over $50 million in agricultural damage annually nationwide.
In an unrelated case, June Woodruff, 52, of Greenville was convicted for illegally selling venison from her deer processing facilities located in Georgiana and Montgomery. Conservation Officers arrested Woodruff after an investigation into her processing businesses. The investigation revealed the businesses were operating similar to a grocery store where customers could purchase various cuts of meat including ground venison and sausage. State law prohibits the sale or purchase of game animals, or parts thereof, including the meat. Woodruff pleaded guilty to two counts of selling game animals on June 23, 2009, and was ordered to pay $678 by Judge Russell.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.