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Feral hog problem continues in Texas

In Southwest Farm Press

A war has been raging across Texas for a very long time, a man-versus-beast battle that rages across the plains, the Hill Country, the Blacklands, Pineywoods, the South Texas brush country, on sparsely populated rural lands and on open spaces and alleyways of larger cities.

The enemy in Texas runs in large numbers, stealthy at night when they do their greatest damage, and smart enough to often avoid traps and the growing numbers of hunters that pursue them.

And they can be very dangerous, and terribly destructive at their best.

Feral swine continue to ravage field and farm in the Southwest, spreading disease far and wide and polluting water sources in every corner of the areas they populate. And in spite of concentrated efforts to eradicate or control wild hog populations, Texas wildlife officials estimate there are still between two million and three million feral pigs that roam freely across Texas. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that is about 50-75 percent of the total feral swine population in the United States.

According to a Texas A&M feral hog population report, feral swine have been discovered in all of the 254 counties in the state, and nearly 80 percent of all land area in Texas is considered suitable habitat for the animals.

According to USDA, the wild swine population in the state costs Texans about $52 million in agricultural damage alone every year. But the damage they cause doesn’t stop there. Favorite feeding grounds for the swine include golf courses, open space land like city and county parks, and even 400 miles of public and private beaches along the Texas coastline. Feral hogs are also known to root residential lawns in populated areas.

Read the rest of the story in Southwest Farm Press.

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