Reducing Feral Hogs on the High Plains

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Millions of dollars’ worth of damage is caused each year because of feral hogs.
 
“In one night, they can wipe out hundreds of thousands of dollars in agriculture,” said Dr. Gregg Veneklasen, a veterinarian at Timber Creek Vet Hospital. 
 
Doctor Gregg Veneklasen, a Veterinarian in Canyon is working to reduce the population to help reduce the damages. 
 
“They do a tremendous amount of damage and all of the techniques that have been used so far, they all help a little bit but we were trying to figure out ways that we can maybe help a little bit better. “We are working on a performance edited pig that the males only make males,” said Veneklasen. 
 
Veneklasen says creating hogs that only produce males would have a major impact on the population.
 
“Each female pig has about 1.7 cycles per year and has about 5.7 pigs per litter and so you think about that, you know 10-12 litters and you end up with a lot of baby pigs and adult pigs and a lot of damage,” said Veneklasen. 
 
David Pipkin, a biological science technician says that damage ultimately affects the local farmers.
 
“A lot of complaints from a lot of agricultural producers, corn farmers, peanut farmers, all through the Panhandle and the state of Texas, they are always needing extra help,” added Pipkin. 
 
Veneklasen has submitted plans to the FDA to be able to release the hogs.
 
He says for now it is just a waiting game. 
 
“The problem will be the FDA as to whether these things can ever be released and we hope they will. Hopefully in the next few years we will have this process going. Everything is very. very slow with the government,” added Veneklasen. 
 
For now, Pipkin says officials and organizations are doing the best they can to help reduce the problem. 
 
“There are a lot of pigs. They estimate them at about 3 million or more in the state of Texas and they can do a lot of damage. We are trying to alleviate that by going into areas and taking out as many pigs as we can,’ said Pipkin. 
 
Veneklasen believes his method could help eliminate nearly 16-hundred hogs in the first generation of one pig.
 
For more information on Dr. Veneklasen, visit http://www.timbercreekveterinaryhospital.com/doctor.php.

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