Food News

North Texas Cities Are Trapping Feral Hogs and Selling Them as Bacon. Mmm, Bacon.

Feral hogs are, by all accounts, a pain in the ass. They're voracious. They obliterate crops, gardens and natural vegetation. They can do a helluva lot of damage to your front fender. And mostly? They're just dicks.

In Texas, their prevalence has prompted all sorts of countermeasures. One legislator wanted to mow them down by helicopter. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has done away with seasons and essentially given hunters carte blanche to slaughter wild hogs whenever and wherever they're found. The state even offered cash prizes to prolific hog catchers.

Those are all drops in the bucket, none of them making so much as a dent in the feral hog population. So they continue to root and ravage throughout the state and, increasingly, in North Texas.

In Arlington, the city's animal services department has been trapping and euthanizing the hogs for several years. But, as the Star-Telegram noted Thursday, the city has recently tried out a different approach.

Since October, city crews have captured 34 feral hogs. The animals are loaded into a trailer and taken to a Fort Worth meat-processing plant.

The city received $10 to $100 for each hog. Those proceeds, about $900 so far, are being used for new traps to keep the feral hog population in check and away from homes and park trails, Rentschler said.

Nor does Arlington appear to be alone in this approach. The city of Irving recently began shipping its feral hogs to Fort Worth's Frontier Meats, which will deliver wild boar bacon right to your door. I was curious how much of Frontier's supply came from municipalities but was told the only person who could answer my question won't be available for three weeks.

Curiously, Frontier does not advertise the specific provenance of its pork, referring to it generally as "Texas native." There's no mention of Arlington or Irving or anywhere else. Doesn't a slab of Arlington-fresh bacon just set one's mouth a-water?

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson