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February 27, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Killing Bacon

Is it really fair?

Simply because they are annoyingly rowdy and, well, more than a little pudgy (Unfortunately, their nature is to nibble.), is it right to tell them, “Enough is enough. No more trying to be gentle about it”? (Even if they promise to jog more?)

They’ve faced scorn and hatred before, but to offer them the Final Answer Pill?

(And you thought those rumors of Death Squads were completely unfounded.)

Giant bronze cat sculpture by Botero ((Hitchhikers handbook/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“No, I am not a hog. But I do consume this space, no?” (HitchhikersHandbook/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Warning:  Don’t be a hog! 

Kaput Feral Hog Lure has been approved in Texas in an attempt to control the population of destructive feral hogs.

The deadly feed contains warfarin, a blood thinner, which basically causes the animal to bleed to death internally.

Commissioner Miller’s announcement allowing feral hog toxicant use is here.

Even if you don’t care if wild hogs die an ugly death, you might be concerned about other problems:

  • Hunters who enjoy hunting and eating wild hogs, worry they might consume a poisoned animal without knowing.
  • Other animals in the food chain can feast on a poisoned carcasses and also get poisoned.
  • If a feeder of poisoned lure tips over, other animals could grab a bite and die.
  • Some even worry water sources may be contaminated by pellets in rain runoff or flooding.

Feral hogs are unwelcome party crashers invading and trampling even heavily populated areas.

They cause thousands of dollars in damage to agriculture each year.

Hog Apocalypse is predicted if their numbers are not controlled. It’s a huge, difficult battle.

Still, spreading warfarin in the environment could have far-reaching impact.

Concerned enough to want to sign an online petition?

Some of you may remember when Molly Malamute chomped a couple of cubes of rat poison put out by a neighbor last spring. (“I didn’t think the critters would carry it off and maybe drop it in your yard…”) That was warfarin, too. We learned quite a bit about it then. Nasty stuff. And obviously it doesn’t always stay where it’s placed.

Giant sculpture of cat looking at you. Gato by Fernando Botero, 1932 (Al Sanin/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Hogs and dogs. Even a casual observer can see similarities. Dogs will eat anything. Leaving them mystery presents to prove that is an inside cat joke.(Sanin/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department feels this is an acceptable solution.

  • Hogs are sensitive to this substance, so the level of toxin should be too low to be a problem with secondary exposure by other animals.
  • Also the fatty tissue of a poisoned animal will turn blue so hunters will be warned if they take a poisoned animal.
  • Besides some humans take warfarin blood thinners every day. (You have read all that fine print?)
  • More of their reasons why it is safe here.

Dallas isn’t ready to serve up the poison yet.

The video below was taken inside Dallas city limits where the wilds hogs are flourishing, but the city wants to try a different approach.  (Read more here.)

Houston/Harris county are also battling the hogs, but are wary of using the poisonous bait.

Videos of feral hogs in local yards here and here

Environmental damage is extremely hard to repair.

Animals aren’t very good at reading those books explaining “Eat this, not that”.

This idea is sort of like recommending using a hammer to kill a mosquito.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

 

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40 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. easyweimaraner / Feb 27 2017 6:27 am

    we like wild hogs, alive and in their natural habitat… the mama once had a wild hog as a pet… and always if a neighbor called that August is in his garden, the grampy grabbed his check book, sighed and cursed the day he brought August home…and he even drove 400 mi. with August in a horse trailer to bring him to a wildlife park as he became to dangerous for people…

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 27 2017 6:55 am

      Hogs are smarties, but develop nasty tempers once they are old enough to have families (a bit like humans that way? HA HA). A place for everything and everything in it’s place – nice August found his spot.
      They say these piggy guys were brought by Spanish Explorers as a food source…then the hog probably started getting full of themselves, started making an amusement park out of their boat, and got pitched off the ship.Hogs have become a huge problem now. Interesting enough the bow hunters are some of the ones most upset. Hunting hogs with bow and arrows seems a pretty risky hobby.
      Thanks for hogging the comment pen

      Like

  2. shoreacres / Feb 27 2017 6:51 am

    It’s complicated, as they say. Three litters of piglets per year? You can do the math. And heli-hogging doesn’t work for the suburbs. There was a lot of discussion on the Outdoors Show this weekend, and the guru up at A&M was interviewed by Michael Berry, I think. I need to go find that podcast, or see what he has to say. I can’t believe they’d approve use of something that’s so toxic. On the other hand, the dose clearly would have to be larger than that used in rat bait, and we know what can happen with that. So…..

    On second thought, maybe lawn chairs on driveways in the middle of the night, with the appropriate implements of destruction would do.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 27 2017 7:16 am

      Armored lawn chair. A full grown hog is pretty dangerous. It is getting critical that some answer be found. Pasture lands and agriculture getting ripped up. One of the state’s designated licensed hunter lives around the corner. He’s been pretty busy. The helicopter hunting (one of the companies is west of us) with real hunters, not tourists, seems like a good idea for some areas, but like around that church’s pumpkin patch in west Houston, maybe not. Even hog wire is no real deterrent. Maybe that’s why they are trying to resurrect super predator dinos from old bone DNA – you can see that going well. (Scripts being written as we speak)
      I’ll have to look for the pod cast. Abbot is apparently annoyed as they have been using the boar meat for needy families. Spreading blood thinners around sounds reasonable, but the darn stuff won’t stay where it’s put, They haven’t invented feeders that ID what is walking up to eat before opening the feed pan lid. And just where the heck are the “Only in rural areas without people”? The problem is on the hoof and moving. (Happy Strawberry Day! One of our local farms was on the early news …warm weather does have some benefits) Thanks for adding a comment on the hoof

      Like

  3. D. Wallace Peach / Feb 27 2017 8:50 am

    Import tigers.
    Just kidding of course. I know that if the solution was obvious, it would have been done already. Poison would worry me too – for all the reasons you listed. Too bad there isn’t a more humane way that would also put food on the table.

    Like

  4. Cecilia Mary Gunther / Feb 27 2017 10:29 am

    And some of those blighters are as big as Sheila! But you surely could not use the poison in the suburbs. It is a problem isn’t it. Glad they are not running wild around here.. c

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 27 2017 10:34 am

      These supposedly came from Spanish stock abandoned by explorers. Some of the ones in California were imported from Germany.
      We used to worry a bit about running into them in the woods as kids as they are large, extremely protective of their young, and basically ornery and dangerous. But now they are overrunning the place…and moving north. If it’s not killer bees, it’s mosquitoes of hogs. You just have to laugh that the keepers seem to have lost control of their stock? Thanks for hogging the comment pile

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate Crimmins / Feb 27 2017 10:35 am

    Gah! I hate that solution. I don’t have any ideas to offer. We are overrun with deer. Lots of destruction but they are not aggressive or dangerous. One thing they tried was birth control. Don’t think it worked. Good luck.

    Like

  6. Ally Bean / Feb 27 2017 11:34 am

    What a lousy way to solve a problem. Poison never goes as planned. Aren’t there enough hunters with marksmanship skills who can intentionally cull the herds in a more humane manner? I dunno, but it seems to me that the only people who’ll benefit from using warfarin are the stockholders of whatever company makes warfarin.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. the dune mouse (CybeleMoon) / Feb 27 2017 5:53 pm

    thank Goodness pigs can’t fly- or can they!?

    Like

  8. Amy / Feb 27 2017 6:20 pm

    I agree with Ally Bean. Let hunters loose to shoot them and donate the meat to a homeless shelter. This is extremely cruel.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 10:15 am

      For the past 2 years state licensed hunters have been donating meat to food banks. It’s considered a delicacy in Europe. But there are just too many darn hogs. And they have grown fond of suburban lawns and hogging far too many parks. Certainly a quandary.
      Thanks for huffing over to leave a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Coastal Crone / Feb 27 2017 7:21 pm

    My, my! I had not heard about this solution. Here is South Texas hunting feral hogs is an acceptable sport and seen as helping ranchers and many times the meat is used in some form. I don’t think this is a good solution but then I am for avoiding drugs when possible. Will check it out further. Who knew?

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 10:23 am

      You’re right. It is a popular sport hunting all over: from the ground/jeep/helicopter – day or night. A real tourist thing even. The bow hunters seem to be the most upset as they worry they will get a hog that’s only a little poisoned and consume it. They are braver than I to confront a angry feral hog with just a bow and arrow.
      When you have an animal that is smart, learns quickly, and has 3 litters a year, there’s going to be a problem.
      I’m surprised some creative enterprising person hasn’t taught some hogs to do hoof to hoof combat and sold tickets to Hog Wars.
      The solution’s out there…hope they find as less brutal way to control the critters
      Thanks for stomping in with a comment

      Like

  10. rumpydog / Feb 28 2017 3:07 am

    I don’t get it. You got all these trigger-happy white guys in your state and you have to resort to poison to get rid of these hogs? 🙄

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 10:37 am

      Apparently not enough. HA HA. Even with the helicopter hunting for tourists. (Not just for white guys anymore – despite Hollywood and media stereotype. People actually travel here for hog hunts. Some places will even gourmet dinner your kill for dinner. Post around here someplace a few years ago about that…the hogs simply will not take a hint.)
      The real problem is that a sow can have litters of 1-12 piglets (4-6 is the most common) 3 times a year. Talk about baby boom.
      And you don’t want to hit one on the road in your car…he’d probably get up, shake off, and then ram you.
      Think of all the great sci-fi fi plots you could come up with….they are really smart…except with that too many piggies stripping/churning up the farm. Too short sighted to leave left overs for later.
      Darn Spanish explorers – not only invaded with their horses and wrecked the locals, they also left all their excess bacon on the hoof.
      Thanks for hogging the comment pile!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Jane Dougherty / Feb 28 2017 7:42 am

    Pigs were domesticated to provide easy meat for us. They get loose and they become ‘a problem’. Anything that gets in the way of what we want to do is ‘a problem’. To animals, all animals, to the planet, we are ‘a problem’. What’s going to feed us warfarin?

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 10:54 am

      Shoot these hog either were grateful tourists for the ride or smart and making a break for it. The ones here supposedly were brought by the Spanish explorers. Some of the ones in CA were brought in from Germany in an attempt to create a hunting experience to make money – but they broke loose. Both turned out to create a nuisance and destructive hoofed armies. Hogs ruin pastures and farms growing food. So now they will have to be dealt with. Even though feral hog/boar meat is considered a gourmet delicacy in Europe and many places, people just aren’t eating enough – and with a sow having 3 litters a year of anywhere from 1-12 piglets (4-6 most common), well, sci-fi fi plots being written as we speak. (Hogs are smart. If they ever learn to drive trucks, we are in big trouble..they tend to be rageaholics and very stubborn)
      You may be right. The animals are taking back the land…seriously…they do look a bit like short bulky knights in armor…
      Thanks for hogging the comment pile

      Like

      • Jane Dougherty / Feb 28 2017 2:02 pm

        ‘Have to be dealt with’ who says? The farmers who want to grow a particular crop now have the right over life and death? I’m afraid I don’t hold with farmers being given the moral right to decide on who lives and who dies. I wouldn’t let the baker on the corner decide, or the supermarket owner. Farmers are just businessmen, not spiritual leaders. I don’t mean to sound aggressive but I’ve had a bellyfull of farmers’ complaints about how government is preventing them exploiting their livestock in the way they want.

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 3:05 pm

          I’m not sure about your last sentence.
          Having grown up around farms and ranchers, I can tell you that the small farmers and rural areas have people who are more concerned over the environment and more humane about animals than you probably know. All the ones I know are compassionate and a wounded/struggling animal bothers them greatly….most more spiritual and moral -although maybe not “churched” – than most city dwellers. They live through honest labor and efforts. However, you may know a more modern business or large factory farm mindset type of agriculture operator than I do.
          Actually it’s the cities that have become concerned. Hogs find manicured lawns tasty. Flowers, too. (Hey we can eliminate lawn chores…if you can convince the HOAs to OK bare moonscape yards. HA HA)
          A solution has to be found to restore the natural balance. These are not indigenous species.
          No one wants to eliminate them totally: a place for everything and everything in it’s place works. For years people have rounded them up or hunted them to cull the numbers, but as superior survivors that learn and are very clever, hogs are winning.
          If you’ve walked the lands or seen much of the helicopter surveillance, you might realize the enormity as well as the complexity of the hog invasion (I’ve been following it over 6 years). It’s not just a few stray wandering hogs. They are endangering any and all crops for both large and small farmers..not to mention the Halloween pumpkin patches at local churches. People now tend to get cranky and irritable if there’s not enough food to eat due to hog trampling of farms The organic/sustainable/ eco friend of the land /small farmer goes out of business as he has nothing to sell to support the farm, so the giant factory farms buy his land.(and that doesn’t end well if consumers don’t like pesticides, hormones, or GMOs. Also forget any free range animals with those places)
          Hog wire does not stop them. They can’t round them up fast enough. Professional full time hunters might have a chance ( but the tourist hunting businesses/bow hunters complain about that) I do not like the poison option as it is a very cruel and painful way to die. And all the other reasons listed in the post
          So any ideas?
          Maybe hogs should be herded towards the swamps and let the gators have at them…oh, wait, they are already there. And in people’s garages. The darn things are big, mean, and very dangerous during mating season or if the young ones are with them.
          Whomever comes up with an idea to convince the hogs it is in the best interest to tread more softy, share the land, and to limit their families will make a fortune.
          No one’s really being mean to animals..they are bullies, too. Battle of the minds for sure.

          Like

        • Jane Dougherty / Mar 1 2017 2:02 am

          Obviously we don’t get anything like the scale you describe. Europe is small and even the industrial farms are small by comparison. But we don’t have a wild boar problem. They are actually bred for hunting and when they escape they form their own herds with no problem since they are wild, not domesticated pigs gone feral. The farmers I know are not kindly loving people any more than townsfolk are. They talk about how much they love their animals, but how you can say you love them when you have 50,000 of them stacked in concrete bunkers, never see daylight, never leave their pens, and all, including many of the piglets, are herded to a very unpleasant mass killing operation. They want to make money. The outcome is death. I’m not against eating meat morally, it’s the quantity and the way it’s produced, raised and killed that make me feel sick. Farmers here are allowed to run the countryside as if they ‘know best’. I don’t notice Ford being allowed to decide on housing policy or school funding because it has factories in urban centres.

          Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 1 2017 5:59 pm

          A whole different experience. I dislike the large factory feedlots – cruel stressful life for animals. Can’t be good food coming out of those large establishments.It is sickening.
          Actually the boars here and in CA are the result of man messing around in the natural order of things. They are not indigenous species to here, but were brought by the Spanish explorers (TX) and misguided parks people (CA) thinking if they offered imported German boars a bit of money could be made by paying hunters. There are no natural predators and the climates are just what hogs love. No body did much about them for years – which was probably a mistake. Now they can’t keep up with the multiplying herds.
          Although the large pythons and anacondas that are now in the Florida swamps/wetlands do eat boars. Those snakes are also “pets” that people got tired of and released. Now the snakes are happily killing the local wildlife.
          All goes back to man messing with things without a thought.
          (Ford? Cars? Big companies used to build factory/company towns (industrial revolution period and a bit later) for their workers where the company did control everything totally. But not allowed now. Or is Ford a politician?…about as bad sometimes a giant corporation …)

          Like

        • Jane Dougherty / Mar 2 2017 1:30 am

          That is more or less what I was driving at. We mess about with nature then complain when the results come back and bite us.
          I’d forgotten about your industrial revolution that probably drew lessons from Europe where it led to revolution in almost every country. You had a much tighter rein on ‘law and order’ and private armies like the Pinkertons were acceptable, an idea that went out here during the Renaissance. In Europe, the police and army were used against rioters with always the possibility that they’d join the other side.
          I agree, politicians can be just as dangerous as big corporations 🙂

          Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 2 2017 9:02 am

          Not sure about the private armies being acceptable at all, except maybe Pinkerton Company guarded the Wells Fargo money shipments on rail/stage routes (husband’s grandfather was killed during one train robbery.) Company goons and union thugs -as well as the Mofia/Mob gansters in some areas – did slug it out and have a lot of control through fear and violence.
          Paid mercenaries are never a secure force or positive influence. Even England found out that.
          Perhaps the Industrial revolution did play a role in assorted political revolutions. Starving people could get jobs, then were abused. Education among people rose. The printing press spread ideas. Divine right of Kings was challenged with less influence of churches (who were really big businesses and held so much political influence) and the rise of humanism/worth of individual/ human rights given to all by a Creator. You can starve the French or any people just so long before they pick up bats and pitchforks.
          Could it be the animals, seeing the mess, have decided to organize and take it all back? (Sci Fi scripts emerging as we speak HA HA)

          Like

        • Jane Dougherty / Mar 2 2017 9:11 am

          I don’t think animals would be so vindictive. Daphne du Maurier and Hitchcock obviously did though 🙂

          Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 2 2017 9:30 am

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  12. The Good Greatsby / Feb 28 2017 11:58 am

    Poison would worry me. When it comes to fighting invasive species, you should research what Australia did in a similar situation, and then do the opposite. They had a pretty long history of introducing an even worse invasive species to counter another invasive species.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 3:10 pm

      No doubt animal experts have been having conferences/internet chats looking for ideas. We’ve had several missteps of introducing a predator only to find the new one was worse…both vegetable and animal/fish.
      These hogs are not natives either. Left over meals from Spanish explorers here – Some brought in from Germany for sport hunting in CA. And they all outsmarted their importers.
      Shaking my Shakespeare fist: “Out Out darn hogs!”
      Thanks for adding a snorting remark

      Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 28 2017 3:12 pm

      Hey, second thoughts…pigs in space????

      Like

  13. PiedType / Mar 1 2017 10:02 pm

    No, no, no. You don’t put out poison where any other animal (or human) might possibly get to it or be exposed to it. As noted by others, get some of those trigger-happy Texas yahoos out there and let them have it.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 2 2017 9:12 am

      It appears someone’s overlooking that the bait/lure is POISON. Sigh.
      We may have to import some of those trigger-happy guys from Chicago. (Or did California grab them already? CA has a huge feral hog problem, too.) Hogs are outnumbering the hunters. Even with the “OK we’ll relax the rules a bit and let ordinary tourist hunters in on the helicopters”. (a couple of years ago, the state started allowing helicopter hog hunting training by licenses companies that had previously only flown the hired state hunters.) The state has had contests with prizes, featured recipes and held fancy gourmet dinners for examples, hunted hogs for food banks, trapped, herded – but the hogs just laughed. If they could train some of those abandoned pet pythons or anacondas dumped in the Florida swamps, those snakes hunt and eat wild hogs…but eventually there might be a bigger problem slinking around…Not a great idea -just how many snakeskin boots and hatbands do we need?
      Thanks for penning a piggy comment

      Like

  14. patriciaruthsusan / Mar 7 2017 7:52 am

    This doesn’t sound like a safe procedure. —- Suzanne

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 7 2017 9:38 am

      Running across a wild hog male looking for a wife or a feral piggy mom with her babies certainly isn’t safe. Another reason to avoid brining in species that aren’t native and do not have local predators…although alligators and the large Florida pythons( also not native) will take them.Feral hogs are smart and stay out of trouble and range.
      The poison bait is risky – maybe rethink that and have more hog hunting contests?
      Thanks for running by to chat

      Like

  15. Russel Ray Photos / May 6 2017 2:32 am

    Piglets are soooooooooooo cute!

    Like

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