It is not a secret that Texas has a very serious hog problem and is probably losing the war on feral hogs. Well, officials in Harris County have decided to make lemonade out of lemons by instituting a hogs for the hungry program to help deal with problem hogs and feed the hungry at the same time.
The hogs for the hungry program involves trapping hogs in George Bush Park and Congressman Bill Archer Park in Harris County, Texas. After being captured, the hogs will then be taken to a processing plant where they’ll be inspected by an official from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) before being slaughtered. Meat obtained from the slaughtered hogs will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.
County officials are estimating that they should be able to trap approximately 2,500 hogs over the course of one year. With a conservative estimate of an average of 40 pounds of meat per hog, that works out to over 100,000 pounds of pork donated to the Houston Food Bank
Dr. Pamela Berger of the Houston Food Bank had this to say about the new hogs for the hungry program:
This is a huge win for everybody in all the communities that we serve.
Due to the fact that feral hogs are more prone to diseases like trichinella than their domestic cousins, donating hogs to food banks can be somewhat complicated. However, the USDA inspections that these hogs will be subject to, along with proper cooking and food handling practices, should minimize any risks from disease presented by these hogs.