Texas OK’s Poison To Combat Wild Pigs

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has approved the use of pesticides when targeting wild pigs. The approved poison, warfarin, is the same drug used in rat poison. He is so confident in the poison that he stated that in light of the product’s approval his department would no longer need $900,000 earmarked for feral hog control research.

This news has stunned hunters and environmentalist. There are so many unanswered questions. What happens if a person eats a pig that has been exposed to the poison? When the pig dies what happens to the coyote, vulture, or whatever else eats it? How will they keep no target wildlife safe?

Hunters and environmentalist have started a petition that has already has received over 5,000 signatures as of Wednesday evening.

To sign the Petition CLICK HERE

On Tuesday, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner’s Office emailed CBS11 this statement:

We did not make this rule change to list warfarin as a state-limited- use pesticide without fully reviewing the data and research available on this product. Kaput Feral Hog Bait has been researched extensively and field-tested in Texas over the past decade in partnerships with various state agencies including TDA. Hogs are susceptible to warfarin toxicity, whereas humans and other animals require much higher levels of exposure to achieve toxic effects.

EPA approved Kaput Feral Hog Bait’s pesticide labeling with the signal word “Caution,” which is the lowest category of toxicity to humans requiring a signal word. Although the EPA did not

list this product as a federal restricted-use product, we made the decision to list warfarin as a state-limited- use pesticide in Texas so that purchase and application is made only by educated, licensed pesticide applicators who have been trained specifically on the use of this product. The product may be only bought and used by licensed pesticide applicators when dispensed in specially-designed hog feeders that have weighted lids that only open from the bottom, making it difficult for other animals to be exposed to the bait.

Warfarin has been studied extensively in animals and is practically non-toxic to birds. Due to the insolubility of warfarin in water, there should be no impact to aquatic life. Non-target wildlife, livestock and domestic pets would have to ingest extremely large quantities over the course of several days to reach a toxic level of warfarin in the bloodstream. In the event of unintended exposure, the antidote, Vitamin K, can be administered by a veterinarian. In general, secondary exposure to other animals is low because the levels of warfarin in target animals are generally too low to be toxic to either a predator or scavenger.

Warfarin at 0.005 percent as a feral hog toxicant has been shown to have a low level of residue in hog meat, especially in muscle tissue, which is what humans typically consume. One person would have to eat 2.2 lbs of hog liver–where the warfarin is most concentrated in the body–to achieve the same exposure as a human would receive in one therapeutic dose of warfarin (current therapeutic levels range from 2 to 10 mg daily). Warfarin metabolizes and exits the body fairly quickly, so a hog that was trapped and fed for several days prior to processing would most likely not have any warfarin present at the time of slaughter.

To read the complete story from CBS DWF CLICK HERE