Dallas officials approve feral hog trap and removal program

Wild hogs are turning up in urban places Dallas officials never expected and a new plan approved by the city will trap and remove the animals.

But while the city council voted to aggressively trap the hogs, state leaders are turning to what some say amounts to poison.

A pilot trapping program by the city over the last year made a significant dent in the feral hog population in city limits. Outdoors writer and catfishradio.com host Luke Clayton loves to hunt the hogs and there are more than enough to go around just south of Dallas.

“They have to be controlled,” Clayton said.

But city officials say the hogs are getting further into Dallas, with evidence of feral hog activity recently seen off Northwest Highway and I-35.

“We've got an issue now. They can double their numbers every three to five years,” said Brett Johnson, City of Dallas Urban biologist.

The city approved a 3-year, $350,000 contract to trap and remove feral hogs.

But Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is going a step further -- changing the rules to allow licensed applicators to use a toxic bait to kill the animals.

“I don't personally see it as being an applicable practice in a city setting,” Johnson said.

Many hunters and naturalists worry it's not a rural solution either. They're concerned about other animals being exposed and potential human consumption.

The Texas Department of Agriculture said hunters will be clued in because the animal's fat will turn bright blue as soon as 24 hours later -- not entirely reassuring for some.

Clayton interviewed Commissioner Miller on Wednesday.

“I asked the commissioner well if you shot a hog and you started skinning him and he was blue, would you eat him and he said, ‘Definitely not.’ He said, ‘But I'd go shoot another one.’ Like I say, a lot of questions,” Clayton said.

The effects to the meat aren't exactly clear -- but Clayton and others worry for hunters who shoot hogs before the fat has a chance to turn blue.

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