More on Hog Poison

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Since my last article on the State of Texas allowing the use of Warfarin based poisons on the Feral Hog epidemic. I have been systematically attacked by every farmer with a hay meadow claiming I don’t understand the problems they face and blah, blah, blah…

I fully understand the problems they face. I happen to own land and have now and in the past had many thousands of acres under my control and management.  The problem lies not with the ranch owner or farmer protecting his or her crop or livestock.  The problem is that the use of a poison leaves too much room for human error and misuse.  Remember when the government said DDT was perfectly safe and even sprayed it down streets as children played.  Remember when television commercials had Dr.’s advertising their cigarettes and even telling patients to smoke in order to calm their nerves and relax etc.?  So, I for one can’t in good conscience support allowing people to place out poisons in areas that could contaminate ground water or wildlife.  Warfarin can kill a K9 (dog, coyote, wolf) with as little as 200 micrograms in a single dose or 3.5 micrograms a day per kilogram of body weight for 5 days. If you don’t know a MICROGRAM is one millionth of a GRAM…So 200 micrograms is only 0.2 milligrams…Think of it in proportion to the 200 MILLIGRAM Ibuprofen you take for a headache.   Cats take far less to kill them in a onetime dose.  Only 35 Micrograms is needed in a onetime dose to kill a cat. Even the largest Bobcat would only take about 45 to 50 micrograms or as little as 2.5 micrograms per day for 5 days.  The effects on other wildlife such as deer and birds is similar except for upland game birds who it does not seem to harm as of the studies I have accessed and read.

When you get right down to it, it really isn’t the inherent lethality of the poison but the collateral damage it will cause and it WILL cause damage to nontargeted species.  Warfarin has been found to cause birth defects in human women when only taking clinical dosages in any trimester of pregnancy.  It also has been found to cause birth defects in humans and animal species.  Warfarin reacts with many medications in which humans who ingest meat contaminated with warfarin might be taking.  Such benign drugs as Aspirin and Ibuprofen may amplify the effects of warfarin and cause bleeding from the nose, gums and internal organs.  Just about every commonly prescribed antibiotic has an adverse reaction with Warfarin. Medications prescribed for the treatment of Epilepsy has a terrible side effect. It renders it ineffective. If you are on Tramidol for pain etc. it causes seizures.   What is going to happen when a hunter who is on a certain medication eats his warfarin packed sausage for breakfast every morning?  Oh but it only stays active in the meat for 24 hours..Not true. According to studies I have read warfarin has remained in certain tissues for up to 35 days after ingestion.  All of this information is out there all it takes is a quick Google search and the time to read and read and read… 

Then we have to ask about the liability issue.  Hogs only digest a bout 50 or so percent of what they ingest.  This was proven in a study where they placed pigs in a 3 level pen and only fed the top pig but allowed the fecies fron the top pig to fall into the second pen and that hogs feces to fall into the third whereby feeding the other two hogs only by what was not digested in the other.. So how much poison will be deposited on other properties and pastures by the feces of hogs?  How many streams will be contaminated and mud holes, ponds etc. Who becomes liable when domestic animals start dying or poison is found on property owned by someone who does not want it on their land?  Who gets the lawsuit?  The property owner who placed it or the state who said they could.. As a hunter I am liable for where my arrow or bullet strikes.  If my bullet goes across property lines and causes the death of a neighbors cow or dog then I am liable for it even though the state says I have the right to hunt.  So are all these farmers and ranchers willing to accept the responsibility for when the poison they used kills non targeted animals?  who is responsible when deer if even not killed by the poison start having low birth rates and birth defects?  Who is responsible when coyotes, fox, racoon, opossum, squirrels, rabbits and every other game and nongame animal start dropping like flies?  Someone must be willing to accept the responsibility when this goes wrong and it will go wrong.  Like I stated earlier, remember DDT? Remember all the chemicals the government said was totally harmless yet have killed a lot of people and animals. 

The feral hog problem is a huge problem.  I just cant help but wonder how long it is going to take before Joe Rancher and Tom Farmer figure out they can buy Warfarin based rat poison by the 5 gallon bucket at the hardware store and they start administering it randomly and unregulated?  It will happen.  It already is.  Now that the state says its ok there are those who will take it as a free run to do as they want. disregard the regs and do it their way. I have had several messages from ticked off land owners telling me they already are doing it.  The rat poison version has a far heavier percentage of Warfarin in it and will cause far more damage to the wildlife than the hog poison containing warfarin.

Story by Jeff Stewart

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