The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's new publication, "Feral Hog Approved Holding Facility Guidelines in Texas," SP-488, now is available, says one of its authors.
"With feral hog numbers on the rise and potential profits possible, the need for proper facilities, also known as buyer stations, to hold and maintain them until such a time as they can be marketed, also rises," says Jared Timmons, AgrIlife Extension associate headquartered in San Marcos with Texas A&M University's department of wildlife and fisheries sciences.
"These facilities are needed because they provide a way for landowners to make money from hogs, hopefully offsetting some of the damage costs. This fact sheet explains the guidelines involved in operating such a holding facility."
Timmons points out that the publication explains the Texas Animal Health Commission mandates that must be met and maintained before a facility can become and remain an approved holding facility. These rules include such guidelines as maintaining a "double hog-proof" fence around the facility, how and what records must be kept on wild hogs, and the deadlines that must be met in order to be re-authorized as an approved holding facility.
"There is no fee for operating an approved holding facility, but because these animals have become such a nuisance and health threat in some instances, there is a fair amount of record keeping that must be maintained," Timmons notes.
Timmons notes well run facilities do offer a much-needed service as they provide a market to landowners trying to recoup some of the monetary losses incurred from the damage the hogs cause.
"Approved holding facilities are regulated by the Texas Animal Health Commission, but the commission does not get involved with any of the pricing associated with the animals," Timmons says. "Depending on where and how the hogs are marketed, the prices now range around 10 to 20 cents a pound live-weight for hogs weighing up to 100 pounds, around 30 cents per pound for 100 to 150 pounds, and 60 cents for those 150 pounds or more."
This new publication, along with 15 others dealing with feral hogs, now is available.