Wild pig hunters warned to adopt safe practices

With deer season coming to a close, hunters look to trap and kill wild hogs, but authorities in Texas are warning people to take precautions and look for any abnormalities when assessing pig meat.
calendar icon 28 February 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Wild pigs are a challenge to farmers, ranchers and homeowners across Texas, causing “millions of dollars of damage” to crops, and uprooting gardens and golf courses. This makes wild pigs a target for hunters and trappers, and also increases their presence on Texas dinner tables.

Though killing wild boar poses risks and challenges in itself, authorities warn that the real risk comes when preparing and consuming boar meat.

Speaking to the Tyler Paper, Dr Tom Hairgrove, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist in College Station, warns of the dangers posed by consuming wild boar meat:

They [wild boar] fight off other feral hogs in their daily activities of searching for food and can incur lesions or open wounds. This may create openings for parasites and lead to infections, discolouring the meat, etc.

That’s why it’s good for those who process feral hogs to be on the lookout for any abnormalities and use safe practices when processing the meat.

Certain diseases, such as swine brucellosis and Tularemia, can be transmitted when cleaning and preparing a pig and manifest in flu-like symptoms and, in more severe cases, pneumonia or meningitis can develop.

Authorities urge wild boar meat processors and consumers to take necessary precautions when handling and cooking the meat. Layering latex rubber gloves and wearing protective eye-wear is recommended when cleaning and butchering, after which washing hands in warm, soapy water and cleaning knives, other utensils and work surfaces in diluted bleach is advised.

It is also advised to cook the meat thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, measured using a food thermometer.

Source: TylerPaper.com

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Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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