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Feral hogs to be "poster pigs" for alleged cruelty to animals in Texas?

Feral hogs to be "poster pigs" for alleged cruelty to animals in Texas?

I need to stay on the subject of feral hogs this week to take note of the animal rights folks attempt to derail the Texas Department of Agriculture's "Get the Hog Outta Texas" campaign. Agriculturemissioner Todd Staples recently announced a county grant program to control feral hogs, which are rapidly becoming Texas' number one pest problem. Under the pretense of an effort to reduce cruelty to animals in Texas, some want to stop the program. In a blog post title "Hog Out is Out of Line" on the Care2 blog, Staples was urged to consider more "humane" means of dealing with this porcine menace. I'm sitting here scratching my head, trying to figure out what form that might take. Anyone out there know of a place we could keep 2 million wild hogs? How about petting zoos? No, scratch that, kids would lose fingers. Maybe a traditional zoo would work, though I can't imagine anyone wanting to view them in their "natural" habitat, which is about anywhere they want to be. They are too wild to bepanion pigs, guard pigs, drug sniffing pigs or seeing-eye pigs. I can'te up with anything. Any help out there? It will be interesting to see if feral hogs become poster pigs for the animal rights movement's perceived notion of cruelty to animals in Texas. They are poor choice as a symbol for any movement, even one as misguided as this. These animals are ugly, mean, destructive, wild, and carry diseases with the potential to devastate wildlife and livestock populations. They have been known to attack people and cause traffic accidents. They are also very cunning. I use the word "cunning" instead of smart. Don't misunderstand. They aren't studying for algebra tests, but they are very adept at escaping detection and fleeing from efforts to control them. They are also, apparently, quite amorous. They breed like rabbits. Controlling feral hogs is absolutely essential. The damage they do to agriculture and increasingly, many urban areas, is costly. Their occasional clashes with people can be dangerous. No method of reducing their numbers will be easy, but we've got to start somewhere. Solutions are like noses. Everybody has one. I suspect this is one of those cases where it's someone else's problem, so it's really not that important. I admit it. I'm a people first kind of guy. This is not about cruelty to animals in Texas or anywhere else. This is about a serious problem with only one solution. It should be done as humanely as possible. But it has to be done.
Gene Hall is the Public Relations Director for the txfb Texas Farm Bureau. The TFB ismitted to improving the lives of America's farmers through advocacy, education and awareness. Read about issues related to the fight against txfb /TxAgTalks/post/2010/10/21/Feral-hogs-to-be-e2809cposter-pigse2809d-for-alleged-cruelty-to-animals-in-Texas.aspxcruelty to animals in Texas.

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