New ‘all-natural’ wild hog contraceptive aims to decrease growing population
(KTRE) - The Texas Ag Commissioner announced a new product on the market he says will help in the fight against feral hogs. It is labeled as a contraceptive bait aimed to curb the population over time and for some may be an alternative to shooting hogs.
All across the state, you can see damage like this from feral hogs. They also carry diseases, can produce a new litter, up to 20, every three months or so.
“We really wanted to develop so that we could help control the problem,” Daniel Loper.
So, Loper, his dad nutritional biochemist Dan Loper, and Animal Biologist Brad Fails developed HogStop.
“HogStop is a hog bait that is a contraceptive,” Loper said. “It’s made of all-natural feeding ingredients. Nothing we’re using is hormones. We’re not using chemicals, poisons anything like that.”
Loper said there are using ingredients ranchers use often for cattle.
“What we’re using impacts swine more than other animals; more than birds than dog but for whatever reason it impacts the fertility of boars. It doesn’t mess with their hormones at all in fact it’s just impacting their testes and their sperm production.”
“It’s very humane unlike Warfarin,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “It’s going to be a great tool. Over 500 million dollars in damage each year just in our state alone from these feral hogs.”
Fails says they tested the product for three to four years with a control group and three groups for 30 days of a month, 15 days of the month and 5 days of the month.
“Motility has to be 70% or higher to be viable at all and morphology, how the sperm is produced, fits together and all the different parts has to be 80% or higher to be viable,” he said. “We got both of them down to 40% on average and that’s for the hogs who ate it only five days for one dose a day and the same for the hogs who ate it all 30 days.”
They say other animals may be affected by a reduction in fertility, if eaten in large quantities. That’s why they recommend the product should be fed in hog-specific feeders that are designed to keep out all other species.
They also addressed any concerns with the product among humans, like is it safe to eat wild hogs whom ate the HogStop bait.
“There’s really no transference to the meat,” Loper said. “And like I said, it’s used in beef production every day. It’s used in dairy production every day.”
And Loper answered whether consuming a wild hog that ate the HogStop bait would cause a human to become sterile.
“No,” he said. “A human would have to eat quite a bit of the feed themselves. Directly the feed. Please don’t eat the feed but it is a minimal risk.”
They say this is not like human contraceptive.
“The human side of things is their using hormones to change hormones; a compound to change, disrupt, work to affect the hormones and ours doesn’t work on the hormone side of things,” Fails said. “Our works on the actual sperm directly on the tissues of the actual sperm and the reproductive organs of the hog and less from a manipulation standpoint in the body.” (Brad Fails)
“We very much checked with the EPA guidelines,” Loper said. “It is a minimal risk pesticide and as such everything has to be on the label so people will be able to see what is in this. It will be on the label.”
Jeremy Thomas .. KTRE East Texas News 9.
To learn more about the feral hog contraceptive bait, HogStop, click here.
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