Newly discovered pig virus is potential human health threat

A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health.

Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the first to point to possible transmission of this virus between species, appears online in the journal PNAS. Continue reading

Experts: Use safe practices when processing, cooking feral hogs

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

With a proliferation of feral hogs in Texas, control measures such as trapping and hunting can yield the rewards of good table fare. However, feral hogs can carry  parasites, such as hookworms, and experts advise to use safe cooking practices before consuming the meat.

“Feral hogs are destructive in nature and their daily patterns include both feeding and fighting,” said Dr. Tom Hairgrove, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist in College Station. “They fight off other feral hogs in their daily activities of searching for food and can incur lesions or open wounds. This may create openings for parasites and lead to infections, discoloring the meat, etc. That’s why it’s good for those who process feral hogs to be on the lookout for any abnormalities and use safe practices when processing the meat.” Continue reading

Texas feral hog workshop attracts a crowd

in Morning Ag Clips

by Angela Moore, Prairie View A&M University

Derrick Banks, CEP Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources at Prairie View A&M University, spoke with constituents over the course of several weeks in Ft. Bend County this spring about the growing nuisance of feral hogs, so he knew that it was a hot-button issue. What he may not have known, however, was that the number of persons attending a workshop about field dressing and processing feral hogs would be double the number initially expected.

More than 50 participants came out to the Yelderman House in Needville, Texas this spring for a feral hog workshop covering field dressing and processing, eradicating and trapping, and nuisance control, including a discussion about technological advancements in trap types and equipment. Bo Haltom, River Bend Deer Processing, lead the Feral Hog Processing demonstration, going through the process step by step, from field dressing to processing, using a 250 pound boar as is found in growing numbers in the Ft. Bend County region. Haltom’s detailed review covered everything from the recommended technique for erecting and dressing the hog to minimize the risk of toxins from diseased organs that are contained in a localized area, from overflowing and contaminating the entire hog, to the best tools and proper techniques for cutting to minimize the amount of fat and to preserve the coat in taxidermy or market condition. Continue reading

Hunters and farmers join forces against wild hogs

In Southeast Farm Press

Wild hogs can be a big problem for farmers and landowners. “Hunters Helping Farmers” is a Georgia program that connects hunters and farmers together with one goal: to get rid of the problem.

Rooting, trampling and consumption of crops are the most common type of damage seen by farmers. Crops most often destroyed include rice, sorghum, wheat, corn, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, watermelon and cantaloupe. Hogs also can potentially contribute to bacterial contamination and sedimentation issues in waterways and they can carry numerous diseases, such as brucellosis and pseudorabies. Continue reading

Wild pigs cause more damage than torn fields

David Bennett from Delta Farm Press talks to John “Jack” Mayer, manager of environmental sciences at Savannah River National Laboratory in South Carolina, about the ever-evolving problem of wild pigs. Because wild pig hunting causes such an adrenaline rush, he says, hunters have moved pigs across state lines in an effort to make hunting locations more convenient, an effort that has actually compounded the population problem and caused more of a wild pig population explosion than would have occurred on its own.

As a result, wild pigs have caused economic devastation to agriculture, from tainting California spinach with E. coli to causing thousands of dollars of damage to a National Guard jet. Because wild pigs carry disease, they have the potential to infect humans and cattle with brucellosis and pseudorabies, causing billions of dollars of damage to the beef industry, followed by a huge jump in beef prices.

Read the interview in Delta Farm Press

Texas officials discuss control for feral swine

From Southwest Farm Press

When Chris Columbus loaded up a dozen swine to make the trip across the Atlantic to the New World for the first time in 1492, little did he know it marked the beginning of what would eventually become a war on wild hogs by the time the 21st century dawned.

Continue reading

Hunters help farmers with feral hogs in Georgia

In Southeast Farm Press

Wild hogs. Feral pigs. No matter the term, hogs can be a big problem, especially for landowners who depend on their property to supply crops that provide for their livelihood. Hunters Helping Farmers is a new program to help alleviate the agricultural and financial damage caused by these non-native invasive pests.

“It is a natural fit to connect hunters and farmers together to try and help solve this growing problem,” says Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. ‘”In no way will this be a silver bullet, but hopefully one small way we can help assist in this huge issue for our farmers.”

Read the rest of the story in Southeast Farm Press.