State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s call for a “feral hog apocalypse” has hunters across Texas up in arms about what they see as a poison being unleashed against a perfectly good source of barbecue meat.
At issue is Miller’s approval of “Kaput Feral Hog Lure” to cut down on a hog population that has gotten out of control in Texas and other states. Miller touts the move as a “major new weapon” in the Lone Star State’s arsenal against the hogs. He also says it means the Texas Department of Agriculture no longer needs the $900,000 in state funding earmarked for feral hog control research.
“Wild hogs have caused extensive damage to Texas lands and loss of income for many, many years,” Miller said. “I am pleased to announce that the ‘feral hog apocalypse’ may be within Texans’ reach.”
The pesticide’s key ingredient is warfarin, which depending on its concentration is used both as a human blood thinner and a poison for rats. Miller approved a rule change in the Texas Administrative Code allowing it to be classified as a state-limited use pesticide, which means it can be bought and applied by a licensed applicator or someone under that applicator’s watch.
In an interview Wednesday in San Antonio, Miller described how the hogs would be lured to special feeders with 16-pound lids that deer and other wildlife wouldn’t be able to open.
“The hogs come in and they eat the bait; and usually in one to three days, they will be eradicated,” he said.
He said Scimetrics, the Colorado-based manufacturer of Kaput, had asked him to help find manufacturers to make the feeders.
But while Miller says the product is safe and unlikely to be accidentally ingested by people — it turns the fat of the animal that consumes it blue — those who hunt hogs for food and sport think the commissioner hasn’t thought the move through.
“The stand that we take is we do not believe adding a poison into the environment is the correct answer to this,” said Scott Dover of the Texas Hog Hunters Association, a statewide group that by Tuesday night, just hours after Miller’s announcement, had close to 2,500 signatures of people opposing the pesticide.
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