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  • What do they do with the hogs on American Hoggers?



    This is a question we've seen a lot lately since the debut of the new hog hunting show American Hoggers on A&E.

    It's claimed that they donate the hogs to feed the needy. I have no way to verify this claim but I've got no reason to doubt it. However, there are several things that come into play when donating wild hogs for human consumption.

    It's a pretty common practice for people to give away unwanted hogs that have been killed to friends or family that want to eat them but when you start donating them to processors or food banks then it gets a little more complicated.

    Due to state and federal regulations, wild hogs that are donated to food banks must be live because of the requirement that they must be inspected at an approved facility prior to slaughter. This is because wild hogs can carry several different diseases that can be harmful to humans if undercooked meat of the hogs is consumed. This is the reason that many not for profit groups like Hunters For The Hungry does not accept wild hogs. Swine brucellosis and pseudorabies are two common diseases to affect wild hogs.

    Next is the issue of keeping wild hogs alive after capture which can be difficult to do during a hot Texas summer. A little known fact is that hogs can't sweat, so it's hard for them to cool off during higher temperatures and that coupled with the stress of being captured often causes hogs to die even though they are basically uninjured during capture. So then again, it's harder to donate a hog once it's dead.

    Then there's the case that not every hog can be easily captured alive. Often times it's safer for humans and the dogs to immediately kill large hogs than to try and transport them alive especially if they're in hard to access locations. These are large, strong, wild animals with what are basically knives protruding from their mouth and it takes nothing more than a split second for a big hog to slice a leg, arm, or stomach of a dog or person wide open. Sometimes catching a hog live and transporting it out just isn't worth the risk.

    Lastly, hogs that are killed in the field with the intent of being eaten by the hunters or their friends and family need to be field dressed and cooled as quickly as possible. During a scorching Texas summer that means immediately as the meat can spoil very, quickly. Because of the nature of the type of hog hunting that they're doing on the show, this isn't always going to be a possibility.

    So I'm sure the Campbell's try to donate as many hogs as possible but there's no way that they're all destined for the dinner table. What the Campbells are doing is a service. Wild hogs cause tens of millions of dollars in damage every year in Texas alone. They are an invasive species with no natural predators and a prolific breeding rate. They destroy crops, landscaping, cause damage to farm equipment, spread diseases to cattle and basically just raise hell across the state and the population is increasing exponentially.

    Any hogs the Campbells donate is just icing on the cake. So for those non-hunters out there, don't take it hard on them. They're just out there helping eradicate pests and doing a little good out of the kindness of their heart to help feed some of the hungry. There's no requirement in Texas to make any attempt at harvesting the meat on wild hogs and they're such a problem here that a lot of people leave them laying where they were killed and they end up feeding the buzzards and the coyotes.
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