Judge halts new rule allowing feral hog poisoning
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.