Judge halts new rule al­low­ing feral hog poi­son­ing

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - By Asher Price ash­er­price@states­man.com Con­tact Asher Price at 512445-3643. Twit­ter: @ash­er­price

A Texas Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture rule change that would have per­mit­ted the use of war­farin-laced bait to poi­son feral hogs is on hold after a state dis­trict judge in Austin is­sued a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der Thurs­day.

Wild Boar Meats, a meat pro­cess­ing busi­ness, had asked Dis­trict Judge Jan Soifer to sus­pend the emer- gency rules that would al­low Ka­put Feral Hog Bait to be sold to and used by li­censed pes­ti­cide ap­pli­ca­tors.

The hogs, which number in the mil­lions in Texas, are widely seen as a nui­sance, known to wreak havoc on ru­ral and sub­ur­ban prop- erty.

State Agri­cul­ture Com­mis- sioner Sid Miller had said the poi­son would ex­pand the ways avail­able to kill the an­i­mals.

War­farin is used as a blood thin­ner in hu­mans and as a poi­son for rats.

Hubbard-based Wild Boar Meats buys live and dead hogs and pro­cesses them for sale to the pet food in­dus- try. Owner Will Her­ring said the year-old com­pany pro­cessed as many as 5,000 hogs in Fe­bru­ary alone.

“The prob­lem is we haven’t dis­cov­ered any way through freez­ing or heat- ing to kill the war­farin in the meat of the an­i­mal,” he said. “This could po­ten­tially kill the in­dus­try. My cus- tomers want to make sure there’s no rat poi­son in the meat that we’re turning into pet food.”

An of­fi­cial with Colorado-based Ge­n­e­sis Lab­o­ra­to­ries, which de­vel­oped Ka­put, told the Amer­i­can-States- man that the hog bait con­tains only one-fifth of the con­cen­tra­tion found in con- ven­tional rat and mouse baits.

Le­gal briefs sup­port­ing Wild Boar Meats were filed by the Texas Hog Hun­ters As­so­ci­a­tion and the En­vi­ron­men­tal De­fense Fund.

“Spread­ing rat poi­son across Texas lands would hurt Texas hun­ters, Texas hunt­ing-sup­ply busi­nesses, Texas feral hog meat pro­cess­ing busi­nesses, Texas ranch- ers and the Texas en­vi­ron­ment,” said Ey­din Hansen, vice pres­i­dent of the hog hun­ters as­so­ci­a­tion.

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