To say that Texas has a feral hog problem is a massive understatement. Right now, experts warn that there are at least two feral hogs in the state for every human. Now while that is a lot of pork chops to put on the table, it is also a lot of damage to personal property and crops. Every year, the wild hogs are responsible for over 50 million dollars in damage to crops and plants across the state.
“They’re so prolific, you can’t hardly keep them in check,” state agriculture commissioner Miller told reporters. But we think we have come up with a plan. “This is going to be the hog apocalypse, if you like: If you want them gone, this will get them gone.” The state’s agriculture commissioner said Tuesday that there is a solution, a human blood-thinner that proves especially deadly in swine.
Commissioner Sid Miller said there is only a “minimal” threat to other animals. Hunters will be able to see that the substance was consumed because the fat will be bright blue, MyStatesman.com reported. The paper reported that the pesticide used is called “Kaput Feral Hog Lure,” which will be bait laced with warfarin—the human blood thinner.
But while state officials have downplayed the threat to other wildlife, hunters disagree. They say that poisoning is not is not a good option. And the hunters in the state have gone on the offensive, collecting more than 12,000 signatures in opposition of the states plan. In addition, Louisiana is also considering using the poison. But the hunters are receiving some support from at least on state wildlife official who warned that the crumbs that a hog leaves behind could affect black bears and other animals.
The feral hogs cost the state’s agriculture industry about $50 million a year in damage according to a report in The Austin Statesman. The hogs are not native to the state’s ecology, but were introduced to North America by Spanish settlers who released domestic pigs into the woods to breed. The state has tried a wide variety of solutions, including: no bag limit, no closed season and even aerial hunting which reportedly results in about another 27,000 hogs being killed annually.
“We don’t think poison is the way to go,” Eydin Hansen, the vice president of the Texas Hog Hunters Association, told CBSNews.com. He went on to say, “If a hog is poisoned, do I want to feed it to my family? I can tell you, I don’t.” Hansen also mentioned the risks of another animal—like a coyote—eating a dead carcass. “We’re gonna alter the whole ecosystem.”