Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Texas ‘Hog Apocalypse’ Poison Put on Hold
A state judge granted a meat company’s temporary restraining order suspending Texas Department of Agriculture emergency rules authorizing use of a warfarin-based poison on feral hogs.
Wild Boar Meats sued the state in Travis County Court on March 1. Wild Boar, based in Hubbard, between Dallas and Waco, buys dead wild boar and sells licenses to hunters to kill wild boar and bring the carcasses to its plant for processing.
The Department of Agriculture announced its administrative rule change on Feb. 21. It classified the warfarin-based hog bait, Kaput Feral Hog Lure, as a limited-use pesticide.
“This solution is long overdue. Wild hogs have caused extensive damage to Texas lands and loss of income for many, many years,” defendant Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said in the announcement. “With the introduction of this first hog lure, the ‘Hog Apocalypse’ may finally be on the horizon.”
Miller said the approval of warfarin for feral hog control was a result of 10 years of research by Scimetrics, the maker of Kaput, and the Department of Agriculture.
Warfarin is an anticoagulant that was used for many years against feral hogs in Australia. Critics, including the Sierra Club, say wildlife that feeds on the carcass of a poisoned hog could spread the poison through the food chain and environment.
Wild Boar Meats says in the lawsuit that the use of warfarin-based poison on feral hogs is not feasible for ranch owners in Texas.
“Many property owners want to hunt and consume feral hogs, or lease their land to feral-hog hunters — not poison the feral hogs,” the complaint states. “Many property owners do not like or trust poison or the effects and risks of poison on domestic animals (e.g., dogs, cats), livestock, wildlife, and the environment. Many property owners do not want to incur the expense of a program that is doomed to failure or, at best, minimal, temporary success.”
Ranchers will be forced to move livestock from pastures designated for the hog poison, Wild Boar says. The wild hogs must be conditioned to learn how to open the containers with the poison, and this will lead to an influx of hogs from other properties, and the separate pasturing must continue for 90 days after the last use of the poison, according to Kaput’s own instructions.
Kaput’s instructions also say that the warfarin poison cannot be used near water sources and that poisoned hogs must be buried.
“A poisoned feral hog may well end up on neighboring property, and the property owner may have no idea that a poisoned hog is on the property, much less any program or desire for burial. That would expose the poison-containing carcass to other wildlife, including birds of prey, vultures, coyotes, raccoons, etc. — or even domestic dogs and cats,” Wild Boar says in the complaint...more