Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meat production helps offset wild pig problem

Sure, feral hogs cause their share of trouble. But for those who like bacon and pork chops, Texas’ pig problem has a swine solution. “I would say if it’s prepared properly, the taste is almost exactly the same,” said Jason Bond, comparing the meat to domestic pork. The rancher operates a hog station just west of Snyder. Some he traps himself; others he purchases from other trappers. On a good week, 100 pigs will move through his holding pens. In the feral hog business world, Bond is a wholesaler. After brief stays at his Scurry County ranch, it’s time for piggies to go to market. He sells his pigs live to Southern Wild Game, a processing company in the San Antonio area. That next step in the porky chain: “We buy live hogs from all over the state of Texas,” plant manager Rusty Spannagel told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in a phone interview. “I think it’s a way that we can take a product that is actually a problem for farmers and ranchers and make it into something that’s constructive instead of destructive.” A typical day sees between 250 and 400 pigs in the slaughter line. Last year, the company slaughtered 17,000. Southern Wild Game leaves final steps such as grinding and seasoning to its retail market. Most of those customers are in Europe...more

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