The Texas Department of Agriculture has issued grants to aid in the extermination of feral hogs as a part of a new offensive move against the invasive species, according a report by New Orleans Public Radio.
“We know that we have to take an aggressive stance in order to protect people's property and people's lives," explained Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. “These feral hogs are not only impacting our rural areas of the state, but increasingly, they're in the suburban and urban areas – our front yards, golf courses and public parks.”
Staples said that Texas houses 2.6 million feral hogs, the most of any state. The hogs have done more than $500 million in damages. Read more here.
Texas is just one of many states dealing with the invasive species. There are an estimated 5 million feral hogs spread across 35 states. Together, they cause roughly $1.5 billion of damage annually.
Feral hogs cause particular damage to the agriculture industry through the consumption and destruction of nearly $800 million worth of crops yearly.
Weighing 200 pounds, boasting four-inch tusks, and carrying diseases, feral hogs present a safety issue for humans, causing South Dakota to join the list of states adopting an aggressive stance toward these vermin.
South Dakota rarely has feral hog sightings, but when hogs are reported, officials eliminate the hogs swiftly to prevent the state from becoming overrun. See, “SD officials work to keep wild hogs out of state.”
Unfortunately, feral hogs reproduce rapidly. The USDA predicted that even if 90 to 100 percent of female feral hogs were killed every year, the reproducing juveniles would prevent the population from dropping.