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Sodium nitrite is being tested to poison feral pigs by USDA-US: a good idea?

23 June, 2014
Sodium nitrite that’s used to kill wild pigs also cures bacon, jerky, hot dogs.examiner.com. June 22, 2014. The chemical used to cure bacon, beef jerky, some hot dogs, and various types of deli meats, sodium nitrite, has been approved as a poison to use to dispatch wild pigs that eat food from people’s yards and farms, according to the June 21, 2014 Associated Press article, "USDA testing sodium nitrite to poison feral hogs, which do $800M damage a year to US farms." Currently, sodium nitrite is being tested as poisonous bait put in traps to do away with wild pigs.
Sodium nitrite is being tested to poison feral pigs by USDA-US: a good idea?
Cerdos asilvestrados
(SerTox)
Scientists say sodium nitrite is far more toxic to pigs than people. The poison is used in Australia and New Zealand to kill feral swine. USDA scientists say it may be the best way to get rid of wild boars in the U.S., but they’re not yet ready to ask for federal approval as pig poison.
Hunting and trapping won’t get rid of the wild pigs, say farmers and some scientists, because the wild pigs breed too prolifically. The news is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture now has started a $20 million program this year to control feral swine, which have spread from 17 states in 1982 to 39 this year.
Other animals are being poisoned by the bait
First the researchers have to cook up a type of bait that contains enough sodium nitrite to make a lethal dose for the wild pigs. The taste of sodium nitrite is bad, and the pigs won’t take to the salty, bitter taste very much. Second, the sodium nitrate breaks down in the air or water. The pigs can sniff it out, and like any other animal, will tend to avoid the poison because it tastes bad.
To outsmart the pig’s taste and nose, the sodium nitrite, as a powder is put in a micro capsule to hid the smell, taste, and keep it stable. But another problem is other animals break into the bait dispenser. So the researchers have to build a bait dispenser that only pigs can access. Racoons already have eaten the bait from the dispenser in the test stage. What next, a bear, or a domestic animal, or someone’s pet? For more information, you may check out, "QA sodium nitrite – Environmental Protection Authority."
You also may wish to read in the article, "’HOG‑GONE®’ and how – Feral.org.au," about how sodium nitrite is used to kill wild pigs there. Before the sodium nitrite, the wild pigs in Australia were dispatched with warfarin, the same chemical given to humans to thin their blood if they have specific health problems such as the tendency to form blood clots or hardened arteries and too-thick blood.
See, "New feral pig toxins, baits and delivery systems « Invasive Animals." As far as wild pigs as a nuisance to farmers, the domestic pigs are bringing in money. It’s noteworthy to contemplate how many poisons also are given to humans in specific amounts as prescription medicines rather than focusing on changes in diet. You may wish to see, "Native non-target sensitivity testing and humaneness testing of a new feral pig toxicant.

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