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Texas war on boar to benefit food bank

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While killing animals such as Canada Geese and deer simply because they have become a nuisance to people in many areas of the country. However, local governments where these “culls” occur are now trying to turn these “tragedies” into something positive by using the meat to feed poor and homeless people. This is now true regarding tens of thousands of feral pigs over-running parts of Texas, where authorities have just signed off on a proposal by Harris County Commissioner Steve Raddock trap them and use them to supply meat at the Houston Food Bank.

According to ABC News affiliate KTRK in Houston, the plan calls for the pigs to be trapped at Congressman Bill Archer and George Bush Parks in Harris County, where they have been wreaking havoc on the native wildlife and vegetation, then send the captured animals to J & J Packing Co., where the USDA will inspect them before they are slaughtered.

“Basically we’re losing the war against feral hogs, while our native wildlife continues to lose their habitat,” Tom Harvey from Texas Parks and Wildlife told ABC News. “They do a number of things that are problems: they root in sensitive areas, they trample wetlands, they defecate in water sources and they displace native wildlife.”

After being captured, the pigs will be taken to a processing plant, J&J Packing Co, where they'll be inspected by a Department of Agriculture to make sure they are not infected with trichinella and toxoplasma parasite infections before being slaughtered. The meat will be sent to the Houston Food Bank. It should be noted that even if they do have the parasites it is possible to treat them so they can be consumed safely. In addition, the Food Safety and Inspection Service stated that raw pork chops and roasts should be cooked until the “minimum internal temperature of 145° F (as registered with a food thermometer), then letting the meat stand for at least 3 minutes before consuming it.”

Once mainly a problem in rural areas, feral hogs have been spreading into the suburbs and cities. The Commissioner’s office hopes that under the new plan they will be able to eliminate approximately 2,500 animals over a year, and estimates that each hog killed will supply about 40 lbs of meat for the Food Bank.