By Meaghan English, TrueSouth Properties Wildlife Specialist
If you own land in the southeast or hunt around the area, you are aware of the feral swine epidemic affecting the area. It is now almost impossible to make a dent in local populations with trapping alone. To alleviate the situation, the state of Texas has passed a law allowing the use of bait to kill feral swine. As you can imagine, there are supporters and nay-sayers.
The Texas Department of Ag announced that they are legalizing bait laced with a blood thinner (Warfarin) to help rid the state of its feral swine issues. Officials are calling it the “hog apocalypse” and rightfully so.The bait will be used in localized areas where hogs are at their worst. So why now? Well according to Texas A&M, a survey in 2011 estimated Texas’ wild hog population to be 2.6 million. 2.6 MILLION Pigs…and growing. Landowners spend approximately $1.5 billion dollars annually across the US due to feral swine damage, according to Texas A&M studies. The state of Texas has had enough and is finally putting their foot down, so to speak. The lethal bait is called “Kaput Feral Hog Lure” and is combined with just enough warfarin to only affect the animal ingesting it (the hog or hogs), and will not affect any other animals further down the food chain. Once the warfarin is ingested, it is concentrated in the liver of the hog and any other tissue affected will light up with blue dye. This way, if a poisoned hog is killed and processed, the affected areas will be easily identified and not used for human consumption. Many skeptics are worried about the affect it will have on other mammals such as coyotes, but I say that would be like killing two birds with one stone. However, only trial and error will prove if the hog lure is in fact the answer to ending the feral swine epidemic.
What if we were to bring this eradication method back home to Alabama? In 2014, Alabama landowners spent a whopping $800 million in hog damages, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Depending on how this swine management plan works in Texas, Alabama may be next. At this point, poison is the only solution to this nation-wide epidemic.
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