Contraceptive available in Texas to help control wild pigs
By Julie Tomascik
A new hog contraceptive is available in Texas to help control the growth of the feral hog population over time.
HogStop is a male contraceptive developed by Daniel Loper, his father Dr. Daniel C. Loper and their partner, Brad Fails.
“It’s an all-natural feed bait that is made out of ingredients we feed the cattle and deer, and we just combined it in such a way to use it on feral hogs to make the boars sterile,” Loper said in an interview with the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network. “It’s just designed to make the boars less fertile, so we can get a hold on the feral hog population.”
According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, feral hogs cause more than $230 million in losses annually to Texas agriculture. And those damages are expected to grow.
Farmers and ranchers have testified before lawmakers, saying hunting and trapping alone can’t control the invasive species.
That’s where Loper hopes the HogStop product can help.
HogStop is a bait feed developed by the trio, who tested formulas to find a feed that would be palatable for hogs.
“Hopefully, we just keep seeing numbers reduce and reduce and reduce, because the reproductive cycle is three months, three weeks and three days. So, if we can just interrupt a couple of those reproductive cycles, we’re really reducing the threat of the feral hogs,” he said.
A field study showed boar fertility was reduced after five days of eating the feed and that it maintained fertility interruption for at least 30 days, according to Loper.
HogStop is considered a 25(b) pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act by the Environmental Protection Agency, which means it does not have to be registered by the Texas Department of Agriculture before use.
Loper recommends farmers and ranchers purchase feeders to keep out other animals and feed the product year round.
“We’ve developed hog-specific feeders to keep out other animals, and it impacts monogastrics more than it does ruminants,” Loper said.
The trio has been working on the product for about three years. As a former Texas dairy farmer, Loper’s dad’s experience in ruminant nutrition and background in nutritional biochemistry helped in the development.
“My dad, through his experience, knew that certain feeds impact fertility in animals,” Loper said.
The product is manufactured in Texas and is produced in cooperation with Hi-Pro Feeds. It is available wherever Hi-Pro products are sold.
The trio also established relationships with Barclay and Wild Pig Feeder, two companies that manufacture two different feeders designed to target wild pigs.
“We’ve got the product. We’ve tested it. We’ve shown that it does show a reduction in fertility and morphology and motility in these boars,” Loper said.
He noted it also impacts sow fertility, but it was tougher to trace.
With the feral hog population on the rise, the threat to fields, pastures, water sources and livestock also increases.
The invasive species can degrade water quality and introduce E. coli, making the water unsafe to drink. They also pose a threat to livestock and wildlife, preying on small animals.
“Farmers and ranchers need every tool possible to help control the ever-growing feral hog population,” Tracy Tomascik, TFB associate director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities, said.
For more information about HogStop, visit www.hogstop.com.