AUSTRALIA, Canberra. A new type of wild boar bait has been developed in Australia using the preservative sodium nitrite as a lethal poison for wild boar.
The new kind of bait with sodium nitrite is offered to the animals together with a feed bait in a special magnetic box in the wild. This world first, called "Hoggone," was launched by Animal Control Technologies Australia (ACTA), whose trials show that it can kill 80% to 100% of a wild boar herd.
ACTA managing director Dr. Linton Staples explained that pigs cannot tolerate sodium nitrite because of the low concentration of an enzyme. "When pigs eat a dose of the bait from specially designed containers, they lose the ability to carry oxygen to the brain and die fairly quickly and without pain," Staples said. The animals become unconscious before death and die without suffering, he said. The active ingredient breaks down quickly afterward and leaves no toxic residue in the environment, he said. Humans and other animals, on the other hand, could safely consume the preservative because of a naturally occurring enzyme, so there would be no "collateral damage."
In January, the bait was approved as a poison in Australia; landowners can buy and use it without needing a permit. Trials of the new bait have already run in the state of Western Australia and Queensland.
Trial participants indicated that it takes between ten and 30 days for the hogs to learn to regularly feed at the site from the magnetic box and to open the specially built container. Once this occurs, they said, the active bait can be used. The ability to quickly eradicate large herds in an animal-friendly manner could become a "game changer," participants said.
According to the Australian Department of Agriculture, feral pigs cause more than € 65 mill. in damage in the country each year, and if African swine fever (ASF) were introduced, it would be many times more.