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Food Safety Issues and Feral Pig Meat

Food Safety Issues and Feral Pig Meat


Food Safety Issues and Feral Pig Meat

photo of feral pigIn many places where feral pigs exist, the animals are considered a valuable resource for subsistence, recreational, and commercial hunting. This can become a problem, however, when feral pigs inhabit areas with active rodent control programs.

Rodent control through the use of rodenticide bait helps to protect agricultural crops, conserve native species, and restore ecosystems impacted by invasive rodents. Diphacinone is one anticoagulant rodenticide that is applied either in bait boxes or spread via aerial baiting methods that could accidentally be consumed by feral pigs.

To get a better understanding of the potential health hazards to humans, NWRC researchers examined the effect of cooking on meat from pigs previously exposed to diphacinone rodenticide baits. Cooking had little effect on residual diphacinone concentrations, the highest concentration of which was found in the liver tissue. Accordingly, researchers caution that the consumption of pig meat obtained from areas with active rodent control programs should be avoided. They also recommend the public be notified of active rodent control projects near hunting areas.

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