Feral Hogs

“There’s so many in the state of Texas, they’ve been here for so long, since the 1680s, that eradication is no longer an option.”

Doug Steen is a wildlife pest damage specialist and says the number of problems feral hogs create is endless.

“From improved pastures to just range land, to water sheds, streams, and creeks, causing soil erosion. There’s instances where they’ve stopped natural springs from flowing.”

And the list goes on.

“Destroying fences by traveling under and through fences. Competition with livestock and native wildlife through the utilization of resources, food, and water.”

And a diseased feral hog population in close proximity to a commercial swine operation would be potentially disastrous.

“Some of them, especially swine brucellosis, are a venereal disease, and they can cause the piglets to be aborted.

“Some of the cattle are showing positives to swine brucellosis, as far as being exposed.”

That’s alarming, because it could affect the state’s cattle herd’s brucellosis free status. There’s been research on some oral birth control baits, but nothing that wouldn’t impact other wildlife populations as well. Trapping and hunting are still the two best methods of control.

“In some areas, there are commercial holding facilities where they will buy feral hogs.”

When field dressing a feral hog you should wear rubber gloves, and when eating the meat…

“Just like any other pork product, or whatever, it needs to be cooked thoroughly and properly to kill any disease causing viruses or bacteria that may be present in the meat.”

I’m Joe Brown, taking a look at Brazos Valley agriculture, from the ground up.

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