Feral hogs carry diseases, contaminate water bodies, destroy pastureland

The state doesn’t have a unified goal of reducing feral hog numbers, but it should, said John Tomecek, Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist.
The animals can carry diseases that can spread to livestock and people.
They also can contaminate water and destroy pastureland.
“In 2016, the states around us now have pigs,” he said.
“We had people coming to Texas, buying feral hogs and taking them over state lines and releasing them for hunting reasons.” In 2011, about 25,000 feral hogs were trapped, and this year, more than 35,000 hogs have been trapped, Tomecek said.
One sow has the capacity to produce 50 offspring in less than two years, and the animals don’t have many predators.
“I no longer have hay available to feed my stock; areas are damaged by pigs,” Tomecek said.
Kathryn Cargo reports on business and agriculture for the Victoria Advocate.
She may be reached at kcargo@vicad.com or 361-580-6328.
Follow her on twitter @kathryncargo.

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