Frances Gould, Morgan, Johnny W. | 8/15/2015 12:26:05 AM
Feral hogs continue to be a major problem in the state, and research is being conducted to reduce their numbers, said LSU AgCenter animal scientist Glen Gentry.
Sodium nitrite is currently being studied as a way to reduce the hog numbers, but it will take time to get approvals and to know proper doses to achieve the needed effect, Gentry said. Sodium nitrite is effective in taking the oxygen out of the pig’s blood through the formation of methemoglobin. The process causes the pig to become drowsy, lie down and expire, Gentry said. At the right level, this will happen in most mammals, but deer and some other animals are less sensitive to the chemical.
"Feral hogs are prolific in their reproductive activity, and their young tend to survive in high numbers," Gentry said.
The study will help determine the effective lethal dose of sodium nitrite, an effective delivery medium and an effective and selective delivery system. Laws and regulations say that the poisons must be publicly acceptable and produce a humane death.
In addition, Gentry is looking at a trap in which a camera inside the trap sends a photo to a smartphone when there is movement. Then, if the receiver of the photo sees that the movement is from a pig, the receiver can remotely close the gate.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture