As you know if you have an IQ higher than celery, the Lone Star State is overrun with hogs. Texas has feral hogs out its ears, and they do millions of dollars’ worth of damage every year. And despite the best efforts of Texans to shoot them, trap them, ambush them, rain death on them from the air, and even blow them up with binary explosives, there are more of them than ever. Which is why some have decided it’s time to resort to poison.
There are basically two schools of thought on the issue of poisoning hogs. On one hand there are those who believe the poison is the best idea for hog control since Lee surrendered to Grant. On the other hand you have those who think using poison is slightly less insane than detonating a nuclear weapon every hundred yards along I-35. Or maybe slightly more insane. I forget.
So, in an effort to get the facts on the poison thing, I decided to go way outside my comfort zone and try to get some actual facts, instead of just making them up. My regular readers know how much I hate research, which is why I usually just make up my own facts. But this is serious. The future of Texas is at stake. Or the future of bacon, which is almost as important.
One of the biggest complaints from the ‘No Poison’ crowd is that Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller has approved the use of the poison, which puts him one step above Attila the Hun on the popularity scale. So I called Sid’s office and talked to Jessica Escobar, a very friendly lady who told me way more than I ever wanted to know about the whole hog poison thing. Jessica should get a raise, as long as it doesn’t cause me to pay more in taxes.
This may come as a horrible shock to some, but Jessica informed me that a lot of the information flooding the internet is NOT TRUE. I know, it’s difficult to believe people would post invalid stuff, but there you go. It turns out that what Sid’s office actually did was to impose restrictions on the use of the poison, instead of offering a blanket authorization for its implementation. So, basically the opposite of what you may have heard. Now I’m wondering if I’ll ever get that $3 million the guy in Nigeria promised me.
The poison in question is called Warfarin, which has been available in rat poison for years. The Hog-B-Gone product, which has Warfarin in it, has a lot less Warfarin than rat poison, because it happens that hogs are a lot more sensitive to it than other animals. It concentrates in their livers, and causes internal bleeding, so they basically go to sleep and end up in that big loblolly in the sky. Or wherever sows tell their piglets they’ll go. I don’t know.
The actual name of the poison is Kaput Feral Hog Lure. Kaput is a French term which means ‘Don’t eat the bacon,’ or something. But Jessica assured me that, even if other animals were to eat the deceased hogs, they would not get sick. A 100-pound dog, for example, would have to eat about 150 pounds of Warfarin to end up in the loblolly. Or wherever. Plus the stuff is virtually non-toxic to aquatic life.
But, judging by the way people are acting about the whole poison thing, not everyone has talked to Jessica, so a lot of people are worried that hogs will eat the poison, and then dogs or cats or other critters will eat the hogs, and the poison will spread all over, eventually infecting the entire ecosystem, all the way down to used car salesmen. So a judge recently issued a temporary restraining order, which was great news for the people against the use of Warfarin. The only problem is that the restraining order actually blocked the restrictions put in place by Sid’s office. The restraining order made it easier for people to use Warfarin, and potentially kill off buzzards and rats and cripple the used automobile industry. Because some are already using rat poison, with its higher dosage of Warfarin, which can be dangerous to other animals. They aren’t supposed to, but there you go.
The restrictions blocked by the judge, who shall remain nameless because I don’t know his or her name, specify a lot of rules for use of Kaput. It would have to be administered by a licensed dealer or applicator, it would have to be put in special feeders accessible only to hogs, with heavy lids and such, the feeders would have to have special signs, warning other animals not to eat it, etc. There were rules about grazing restrictions for cattle, and disposal of the dead porkers. Those rules are now not helping, because of the judge. Which may be why Jesus said, “Judge not.”
The funny thing is that Kaput Feral Hog Lure is not even on the market yet, and Jessica didn’t know when it would be available. So there’s that.
Personally, I’m withholding judgment until I see an assessment, with actual facts and figures, explaining how many Smart cars and Priuses would be taken out by the nuclear weapons along I-35 . . .