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TDA Initiative Aims to Stop Feral Hogs in Their Tracks (3/22/2016)

AUSTIN - The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) today announced the 2016 Coordinated Hog Out Management Program (CHOMP), which will run from May 1-31, 2016. The effort is focused on decreasing the feral hog population in Texas, which inflicts an estimated $52 million in agricultural damage each year.

“Feral hogs cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage every year, but by working together, we can take steps to protect our farms, ranches and property from these dangerous and destructive animals,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “Feral hogs are both an urban and rural problem, and there is no single solution that will solve it statewide. Through this partnership, local officials will have the flexibility to implement feral hog abatement efforts that work best in their areas.”

Texas is home to the largest feral hog population in the U.S. with nearly 2.6 million feral hogs in the state. CHOMP is a concentrated and coordinated effort with local county partners across the Lone Star State to decrease this population and mitigate millions of dollars in damage caused by these animals. Location, terrain and vegetation impact which abatement methods work best in each individual area, and local officials will have the flexibility to determine which method works best for their community.

Participating counties will be scored on the number of feral hogs taken during the one-month challenge. Additional points will be awarded based on the educational initiatives implemented to teach residents about abatement technologies to help further manage the feral hog population in the area. 

Through CHOMP, winning counties will receive assistance to continue local abatement activities after the challenge ends. This includes educating landowners on removal methods, coordinating trapping and hunting programs, conducting aerial gunning and addressing public safety hazards related to feral hogs. 

To apply for a CHOMP grant, individual Texas counties must include the number of hogs taken, along with the number of individuals participating in county-approved educational courses, as certified by the county, during the one-month challenge. Selected applicants will receive project funding on a cost reimbursement basis. A total of $200,000 is available. Applications will be reviewed through a competitive evaluation process.

The deadline to submit an application is June 16, 2016. To learn more and download an application, click here. For questions on the application process, contact TDA’s grants office at (512) 463-6616 or Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov.