Mammals

Texas plans feral hog 'apocalypse'

This photo shows feral hogs eating corn at a deer feeder near Overton, Texas.

This photo shows feral hogs eating corn at a deer feeder near Overton, Texas.  (AP Photo/Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center, Dr. Billy Higginbotham)

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is stepping up his war on feral hogs with a move that he says will bring about an "apocalypse" for the crop-destroying animals.

Miller has approved the use of the pesticide warfarin to poison the state's 2.5 million or so wild hogs, reports Gizmodo, which calls the step "chemical warfare" but notes that feral hogs cause an estimated $1.5 billion in damage nationwide every year.

"They're so prolific, you can't hardly keep them in check,” Miller tells the Austin American-Statesman. "This is going to be the hog apocalypse, if you like: If you want them gone, this will get them gone." Miller—who introduced a law allowing hunters to shoot wild pigs from helicopters—says the product he approved for statewide use, "Kaput Feral Hog Lure," doesn't pose much danger to other animals because hogs are especially vulnerable to warfarin, and it would take higher doses than the bait contains to harm most other creatures. A Texas Hog Hunters Association spokesman, however, says they oppose the move and would rather stick to hunting and trapping. He tells CBS News he's worried about the risk of feeding poisoned pork to his family, though Miller says that in a "dead giveaway," the poison will turn hog fat bright blue. (A bacon ingredient is also being used to poison pigs.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Texas Plans Feral Hog 'Apocalypse'