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Texas is close to unleashing a hog killing pesticide

After reading this article, in my opinion this is an extremely irresponsible action that is getting ready to happen in Texas. Way too many variables that no one can control. It sounds like they are so desperate that no matter what the cost they are going to do it anyway. Interesting comments from Louisiana's State wildlife vet, Jim Lacour, who seems to be thinking more along my lines.

The link to the article is below the story. Then check out the comments section. The readers comments are very enlightening as to the potential dangers of this plan.

Here is the story:

'Texas to feral pigs: It's time for the 'hog apocalypse' to begin'

Texas has a new plan for its 2.5 million feral hogs: total annihilation.

Sid Miller, the state's agriculture commissioner, just approved a pesticide — called 'Kaput Feral Hog Lure' — for statewide use.

'The 'hog apocalypse' may finally be on the horizon,' Miller said in a statement on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: First human-pig chimeras created, sparking hopes for transplantable organs — and debate

'This solution is long overdue,' he added. 'Wild hogs have caused extensive damage to Texas lands and loss of income for many, many years.'

Texas's agriculture commission estimates that feral hogs cause $52 million in damage each year to agricultural businesses by tearing up crops and pastures, knocking down fences and ruining equipment.

The so-called hog lure is derived from warfarin, a blood-thinning agent that's also used to kill rats and mice in homes and buildings. Animals don't die immediately from eating the odorless, tasteless chemical. That would be too kind. Instead, they keep eating it until the anti-clotting properties cause them to bleed to death internally.

This week, Miller approved a rule change in the Texas Administrative Code that allows landowners and agricultural producers to use Kaput — essentially warfarin-laced pellets — to keep feral hogs off their property.

Proponents of the hog toxicant, including the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, say it's an effective tool because it's only strong enough to kill the swine, and not other wildlife populations or livestock.

In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registered Kaput's hog bait under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, a move that made the product available for general use.

Still, environmentalists and hog hunters alike staunchly oppose using warfarin to stamp out Texas's feral pig problem.

Pigs poop, after all, and other animals could ingest the warfarin along the way. Some Texans hunt the pigs for sport and food, and they're worried about eating poisoned swine.

'For Texas to introduce a poison into the equation is a bad decision in our opinion and could likely contaminate humans who unknowingly process and eat feral hogs,' the Texas Hog Hunters Association said in a petition to block the rule change.

Louisiana might become the next state to use Kaput to quell its feral hog population, which worries state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour. He said local black bears and raccoons could easily lift the lid to the cages containing the warfarin-laced pellets.

'We do have very serious concerns about non-target species,' LaCour told the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

'When the hogs eat, they're going to drop crumbs on the outside, where small rodents can get them and not only intoxicate themselves but also birds of prey that eat them. Since the poison will be on the landscape for weeks on end, the chances of these birds eating multiple affected animals is pretty good,' he told the newspaper.

The pesticide's manufacturer, Scimetrics Ltd. Corp., assures the pesticide is safe for humans and wildlife — just not for feral pigs.
to hell with poison,they can't get hunters to go on a hunt for pigs,i like to eat pig meat and if they have poison in their system u kill it and don't know if it been poison would u take the chance on eating it? They say it won't harm you if u eat it,i like to know who is 'THEY'??
Ricky, Your comments sound an awful lot like those that were afraid of motorized vehicles in the early 1900's when more questions were generated by fear than what reality proved. .I suspect you're pro hogs b/c of the hunting opportunities while you disregard the $millions in property damage/yr.
Its time La. does something about the hog population as your property either has hogs , are you're about to get them.
If the EPA has approved the poison, we should at least consider using it in a trial run period, otherwise you accept the hog damage. Knowing how strict the EPA has been in the past, this new poison cant be all that bad for 'other than hogs' in the area.
Hunting hogs to their extinction has proven a failure. Its time we tried something new.
Sow I agree they are out of control, but in my opinion they are putting the cart before the horse. Is it worth the risk of possibly getting even one person sick from this stuff? Or having other animals die while experimenting with the poison? Not to me. Of course I am a hog hunter, anyone that has read any of my reports well knows this. I also only hunt on public land so I do not own any land that hogs could invade. However my bias does not cloud my thinking. Putting a poison into our woods that is not one hundred per cent safe for other animals and us is not acceptable to me. We will have to agree to disagree on this matter.
I just attended the Texas Farm-Ranch-Wildlife expo in Abilene and attended the seminar put on by the TA&M agri-life extension office about feral hogs. This pesticide has NOT been approved for use in Texas yet. The EPA has approved it but no states, yet. They do expect it to be approved for use in Texas some time this year.

They did do field trials with this pesticide and they used a dye that turned all of the fat on the hog a bright blue. I am not sure if they are going to use that dye in the actual product.

The label requires that the feeder not be placed in any open fields or any pastures that have livestock. It must be placed in a brushy area and the lid must weight 8-10 lbs. The active ingredient is only .005% so it is fairly weak. As far as a lethal dose, they just fall asleep and die. They estimate they have 5 million hogs and 4 million white tail. Hogs are killing fawns and eating quail and turkey eggs. In order to keep the current population, they would need to kill 30% of the population every year. Hogs are shot anytime they show themselves but one sow can produce 50 offspring in two years. Texas is getting desperate.
I'm not keen on the idea of this poison getting into our ecosystem. I read the studies that said it's not potent enough to hurt other animals but the fact is that it's not natural and it'll be in the ecosystem. From the hogs, to the gators, snakes, rodents, insects, etc.

Hog eradication is free. Ease the restrictions in the WMA on the seasons and allow larger calibers and we recreational hunters will gladly do it for free.

Save that money for schools and to repair the roads. Heck, WMA sell hog tags for $5 each. I'll gladly pay for this cause and to help with the WMA mission.
There is still question whether warfarin (Kaput) can pass from a dead pig to whatever eats it. Probably not in the concentration that would kill, but agree: until this question is answered it shouldn't be used. Bigger issue is how to keep non target animals from eating the bait before the pigs can get to it. A pig specific hopper has not been developed.
As far as letting hunters do the bulk of the 'eradication'. I believe in everyone's right to hunt and this shouldn't be limited; however, hunting is not going to get us to the numbers that we need. There is an estimated 700,000 pigs in LA. Hunters would need to kill 490,000 pigs just to maintain what we have now, and 630,000 to reduce the numbers. Last year hunters killed 268,000. Sorry, the argument for the 'hunting only solution' is dead wrong. Once a pig specific delivery system is developed, then a toxicant like sodium nitrite would be a viable option.
I personally don't support the poisoning of the hogs. its unfortunate that the hog population has become so far out of hand that we have to use chemical weapons. Not only is it inhumane, its not clear if other animals or people could be impacted by this. The state could apply a bounty on them to be taken by traps, rifles or other means of hunting device. Land owners and ranch owners could also encourage the taking of all the wild hogs a guest can shoot and simply donate the meat to charities.. it could serve as a tax deduction for them as well. Our club currently does just that and the local communities benefit from the free meat we give away.
I know this post is mainly about Texas using warfarin to exterminate hogs but it is my opinion that Louisiana can and should should do more than they are doing now before getting on the poison bandwagon. Currently, Texas and Mississippi have passed rules that allow hunters to take feral pigs by any means, at any time, with any weapon, even on state lands. You don't even need a license or special permit as long as you have land owner permission in Texas. Both states have done a great deal of education through their college systems, promoting the taking of feral pigs and educating the public. Before, you guys comment, I do know that you can get a special permit to hunt feral pigs at night etc. here in LA but you should not be necessary and hunting could be done year round like our neighboring states.

I also think that Louisiana should do more public education and offer special hog hunts and incentives before taking the drastic step to using poisons. How can it be that in the state with the most Crackli'n, Boudin, Taso, and Hog Head Cheese, that a pig could be safe? I'm sure that the 'Cajun' is the supreme predator of the pig! We here in Louisiana, like no other state, like to eat wild game, especially pigs! Texas is a vast state with many large areas of private land that is uninhabited. Louisiana has a road and a mailbox almost every few acres! There are so many people here who want to hunt, we export our hunters to other states in search of gravy meat in vast numbers!

Another thing that I can tell you from experience is that deer do not always eat the things that pigs eat but sometimes they do...

In my quest to lure ONLY pigs into traps on my family farm, I have personally witnessed a doe with twins eating rotting fish, blood, food trash, the remnants and left overs from a crawfish boil, and various other things that you would not expect a deer to eat. Most of the time the omnivorous pigs will keep the deer away but if they don't touch the bait for a while, inevitably, deer will come and investigate. Some get trapped. I have captured video of deer eating these nasty things.

What about the Louisiana Black Bear? Anyone who has put out bait for hogs or deer understands this problem. How would that news report go over? 'Black bear and two cubs found dead from Warfarin poisoning' .... Hmmmm....

My family farm was under full attack from feral hogs the last few years. My cousin was loosing a lot of his rice crop and having land and levee destruction, costing him time and money to repair. We began a dog hunting, trapping, and rifle hunting program. We reduced our feral pig population drastically. He had very little or no crop destruction this year and we saw very few pigs over the summer on our property. I'm also seeing more deer. I think Louisiana hunters and residents should do more of these types of tactics first, they work. I for one am not for the use of any poisons at all besides Lead Poisoning and trapping. I may change my mind but for now I am not on board.

Poison is poison no matter how you stack it and it will have an adverse affect on more than just hogs. What mental giants thought of this? Obviously, there is money to be lined in someone's pocket.