The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) passed a resolution at its Feb. 2 meeting in Baton Rouge, recommending the adequate evaluation of the feral hog toxicant Kaput and any other similar poisons prior to state approval to determine impacts on wildlife.
The resolution reads as follows: “The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) resolves that the LWFC recommends the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force (hereafter referred to as task force) should adequately evaluate the hog toxicant Kaput, as well as any additional toxicants that may be proposed in the future, prior to approval in Louisiana, as to its potential impacts on wildlife and the effects of consumption of those wildlife on humans.’’
LWFC Commissioner Bart Yakupzack of Lake Charles authored the resolution, which was passed unanimously by the commission.
“This resolution is consistent with recommendation No. 5 of the Task Force Report dated Feb. 1, 2017, which states that all feral hog toxicants must be evaluated by LDWF to ensure imposition of minimal risk to other wildlife species prior to the registration and legalization of the toxicant for use in Louisiana,’’ Yakupzack said.
The resolution came after a report from LDWF veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour, a member of the task force.
During his presentation to the commission, LaCour said LDWF and the task force had many concerns about the toxicant, which has received conditional general licensure from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Though general directions for use states that the bait may only be applied in special feeders with 8-10 pound lids, LaCour and the Task Force believe other species would be able to access the poison. LaCour said LDWF researchers have witnessed a raccoon lifting a 23-pound lid on a feeder. There is also a worry the toxicant could be ingested by non-target species of concern like the Louisiana black bear.
LaCour also stated that squirrels and other rodents could feed on bait dropped or scattered by feral hogs, which could lead to secondary intoxication of predators such as bobcats, owls, hawks, eagles and vultures.
“Though there are specific directions for the toxicant’s use”, LaCour told the commission “concerns are high for inappropriate use of the product, especially bait dumping on the ground by users.’’