NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After Tuesday, feral hogs can legally be poisoned through the use of a state approved limited-use pesticide. The announcement officially came Tuesday from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.
The rule change is designed to be a new weapon in controlling the destructive feral hog population, but the method has its share of opponents right here in East Texas.
These wild hogs will no longer root up hay pastures, become road hazards, carry diseases, pollute waterways, and breed. They've been successfully trapped by Brian Williams, a hog hunter and sold to hog buyer Edwin Parker, both of Lufkin.
"We are going to never wipe them out, but we can get them controlled," Parker said.
However, it won't be as fast as Kaput Feral Hog Lure, says Ag Commissioner Sid Miller. The lure is infused with a toxic amount of warfarin, the same ingredient used in blood clot prevention medicine for humans. Miller said today the pesticide's limited and supervised use will lead to a "Hog Apocalypse."
"It's not just going to stay with the hogs," Parker said. "It's going to get everything. Dogs, deer."
The number one concern is the safety of humans who eat feral pigs.
"We slaughter a few pigs and give them to people in a tight situation and need something to eat," Parker said. "If word gets out that all the hogs are poisoned we aren't going to want to risk making our kids sick, family sick."
The Texas Department of Agriculture says extensive testing has addressed the concerns of hunters and others about the product.
Many wild hogs are sold at USDA inspected slaughter houses. Meat is exported to places like Europe and Japan. Some hunters say the state would be doing better if it would invest in the wild hog market.
"The price of the hog will come up," said Brian William, a hog hunter. "More people would be more interested in catching these and get an income coming back in from it."
Meanwhile, wild hogs continue to breed across the state, causing $52 million worth damage each year.
The Texas Department of Agriculture says the rule change is supported by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service
East Texas News asked Nacogdoches County AgriLife Agent Ricky Thompson for input. He said agents were told by their supervisors not to speak on the controversial issue until after a consistent statement from Texas A&M Agrilife is formatted.