True Colors

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With the recent approval of HB3451 which states simply that no poison can be introduced into our fields or woods for the purpose of killing feral hogs without first being tested and researched by independent state labs and Universities. Ag Commissioner Sid Miller has seen fit to call the citizens who cared enough about Texas to fight the ill thought out use of poison without proper testing a whole bag of names. Sid Miller has put out a statement which calls us such names as “environmental radicals”, “ the misinformed “and my favorite “urban media hacks”..I guess that one was aimed at myself and my fellow journalists who openly opposed his plans. So by resorting to name calling I guess we can see those true colors.

Sid went on to say that our efforts are a kick in the face to rural Texas…REALLY? Last I checked WE are rural Texas in the flesh. The majority of us don’t own multimillion dollar ranches. We don’t drive around in King Ranch pickups worth $70,000 as our farm truck. We are guys and gals who work for a living. Our hands are greasy, dirty and often bloody after a days work. We till the soil on land that we hope we can keep the mortgage paid on. We plow fields we may never own. We drive used trucks and still pay a note at the bank on them. Yeah Sid…We are rural Texas. We live in trailer houses and homes you wouldn’t use as a feed shed. That’s rural Texas. The kick in the face was the total disregard for our environment and the peoples voice.

Being called misinformed by people who when spoke to could only regurgitate the information contained on the Kaput warning label from the bucket is a joke. I know I myself spent dozens of hours poring over every bit of data available about Warfarin based poisons and their use in our country and overseas. We called veterinary Dr.’s and wildlife biologists as well as Physicians to assess the potential health hazards on animals and humans alike. All information we available to Mr. Miller and his office with no acceptance or any attention given. I guess he considers Texas Veterinarians misinformed and Dr.’s who save human life daily misinformed because we have a great number who back our efforts. Maybe the Texas Extension Agency on Wildlife is a grossly misinformed group as well because their former department head agrees with us as well as documents produced by them….So Veterinarians, Dr.’s, Biologists and wildlife experts are all misinformed according to Miller..We are probably the most informed people in this fight.

I must laugh at being called environmental radicals, it is pure comedy. So far I have not seen any of these radicals amongst us chained to any trees naked or marching on Austin wearing feral hog costumes etc. I have to ask just what “Radicals” Mr. Miller is referring to? What evidence of any radical behavior is he basing this on? Is it the fact we want a bit more testing on a potentially devastating poison before we turn it loose on our fields, streams and woods? Maybe its because we threw a monkey wrench in someone’s plans. I mean really. So far I have had over 2000 Emails and social media responses to my articles and not more than a hand full have been in support of Sid’s plans…The majority say the same thing over and over. More comprehensive testing by unbiased laboratories and universities is needed. Everyone finds it peculiar that the only testing was done by the very company set to make a fortune off of Texas farmers and ranchers.

Last but not least are us “urban media hacks”. Wow! I know I may not be Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite but “urban media hack” lol…I come from a town of 1049 people in East Texas there was 14 kids in my graduating class and I moved 5 miles down the road over the past 30 years to a community of about 30 families because the 1049 was just too big for me. I write for Texas Fish and Game and proudly do so. Far from urban media. I write about hunting and fishing for a living. The majority of writers opposing the poisoning of Texas wildlife are just like me. Small town folks who care. Not “urban media hacks”.

Story by Jeff Stewart

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