Texas is set to start a large-scale poison warfare against their overpopulation of feral pigs. Manufacturers of the toxin are looking forward to a boost in their sales.
Texas has the largest population of feral pigs in the United States. Wildlife experts estimate that close to 5 million wild pigs are roaming the state. The animals are causing major damage nationwide to the environment, agriculture, and other wildlife to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars annually. Poison warfare is meant to change that.
Prolific and voracious Texan wild hogs create least $50 million in annual damages by destroying crops, livestock tanks, and well manicured urban landscapes.
Can toxins eradicate wild boar?
Incensed by the ever-increasing numbers of wild pigs, growing damages, and the shrill complaints of ranchers, farmers, and citizens, the Texas Agriculture Commission changed the Texan administrative code to allow the limited use of pesticides against the wild pigs. Specially prepared ‘lures’ will attract the wild pigs to bait soaked with warfarin.
As a matter of fact, warfarin is the generic form of Coumadin, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots in humans. However, as an anti-coagulant, it is also widely used as rat killer. The drug leads to unstoppable internal bleeding if taken in high doses. For that reason, human victims of stroke or other heart diseases must have their blood checked often to avoid the negative consequences of the drug.
Because of the damage wild pigs inflict on their habitat and agriculture, Texas has long waged an almost all-out war against them. Without great success despite high-tech night vision, automatic weapons, and boar hunts from helicopters.
Wild hogs inflict damage and create income for landowners
On the other hand, while Texan ranchers complain vociferously about the damage to their crops and livestock, they also have made the wild pigs a source of additional income. The majority of Texan cattle ranches and other farming enterprises also conduct guided hunts for wild boar on their properties. Guide fees are substantial, up to $ 1,000 for a two-day weekend hunt and more.
Some landowners derive 10 to 20 percent of their income from hunting wild hogs on their property.
Is it, therefore, surprising that many ranchers installed automatic feeders on their properties to attract and keep the pigs on their land? In other words, ranchers and other parties benefiting from hunting wild hogs have created the out-of-control pig populations. Or at least, they have contributed significantly to the problem.
By the way, did any politician or wildlife expert suggest to outlaw baiting and automatic feeders in Texas? Of course not.
Yet, less food means fewer wild boar. That’s a scientifically proven fact. It also is an inexpensive birth control method for wild pigs. Note the word inexpensive. Why promote it when you cannot make money with it?
Nevertheless, waging a poison war on the pigs has a great financial incentive to the pharmaceutical industry and, of course, to the makers of the “Kaput Feral Hog Lure”. They stand to gain much financial benefit from the decision of the Texan Agriculture Commission.
Opposition to poison warfare is collecting signatures
Not surprisingly, hunters and environmentalists are opposing the use of this toxin. They argue that the blood-thinner will not stay confined to wild pigs but make its way to scavengers and other animals that consume the ‘lure’. Even accidentally.
Kaput Hog Lures (left) and the victims (change.org)
Moreover, it is only a matter of time before some entrepreneur discovers how to use the ‘lure’ on other animals. For example, on your neighbor’s dog that barks incessantly. Or noisy migrating geese that poop all over his lawn and, with their loud cackling, prevent him from sleeping.
Oh, before I forget it, how about those obnoxious, screaming peacocks? They are a walking and flying noise pollution and they damage roofs.
Certainly, your fertile mind could easily think of more uses for the ‘Kaput Feral Hog Lure’.
How about collecting the carcasses of the poisoned Texan wild hogs and shipping them, frozen of course, to Florida? After all, Florida has a problem with another invasive species, the pythons.
Dead python Everglades Park after eating alligator (Reuters/Everglades Park)
Furthermore, feral cat colonies are a curse to many neighborhoods. They decimate bird populations. Couldn’t we simply lace the food little old ladies give to their cat darlings with some Kaput Hog Lure poison?
Warfarin is the active ingredient in rat poison. In fact, it does kill rats. But rats still around? Invading food storages and establishments? Why?
Poison war against animals may kill many individuals. But can it eradicate an entire species?
Or does poison warfare eventually cause immunity to the poison first in some animals and then to a high percentage of the species?
Just asking. I am not a wildlife expert in Texas. Nor do I sell warfarin or the Kaput Feral Hog Lure.
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