No pub­lic study avail­able on ef­fect of pes­ti­cide on feral hogs

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By W. Gard­ner Selby wgselby@states­ PolitiFact

A Texas meat pro­ces­sor who ques­tions a govern­ment-ap­proved bait that kills feral hogs charges there’s no pub­lic re­search on the prod­uct.

Will Her­ring, owner of the Hub­bard-based Wild Boar Meat Com­pany, which makes hog meat into pet food, has said he fears the prod­uct’s ac­tive in­gre­di­ent — war­farin, long known as a rat poi­son and pre­scribed to hu­mans as a blood thin­ner — will dam­age his busi­ness.

Also, Her­ring said, “There’s not one pub­lic study, and by pub­lic study I mean a study avail­able to the pub­lic, that has looked at us­ing the prod­uct Ka­put to poi­son feral hogs.”

Her­ring­per­suaded a state district judge to is­sue a tem­po­rary or­der putting a hold on state rules ap­prov­ing Ka­put’s use by state-li­censed pes­ti­cide ap­pli­ca­tors. State Sen. Kirk Wat­son, D-Austin, has filed a bill bar­ring the state from reg­is­ter­ing any lethal pes­ti­cide, in­clud­ing war­farin, for feral hog con­trol un­less a state agency or univer­sity per­forms and pub­lishes a sci­en­tific study weigh­ing the pes­ti­cide’s en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic ef­fects.

Both moves hap­pened after Sid Miller, the state agri­cul­ture com­mis­sioner, an­nounced the Texas De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture would is­sue rules lim­it­ing Ka­put’s sale and use to li­censed in­di­vid­u­als.

We de­cided to put Her­ring’s state­ment to the Texas Truth- O-Meter.

When we in­quired, the state Agri­cul­ture De­part­ment emailed us a spread­sheet in­di­cat­ing that Colorado-based Sci­met­rics, the com­pany poised to vend Ka­put, fielded $136,854 in re­search grants from the Agri­cul­ture De­part­ment from 2013 into 2017. All told in 2016-17, the agency awarded $802,500 to fight feral hogs; that counts funds awarded to coun-

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