Plenty of shoppers look at the expiration dates or “better if used by” dates on certain foods they are buying. Now, a coalition of food companies say there is a better way.

Their recommendation is changing wording to “use by”, or “best if used by”. One caution is that the new plan is voluntary and some companies may not change their labels. We are told that even if a purchaser buys a food product that has passed its’ expiration date, that food is probably still safe to eat. Or is it!

The fever tick hunt goes on with many veterinarians and animal scientists concerned that the outbreak in south Texas is moving north. Already over 500,000 acres are under quarantine against movement of cattle out of the area without approval. The fever tick was almost a thing of the past until recently.

Then veterinarians started to find cattle that carried the dreaded tick and expanded their search. Falls, Gonzales, Milam, Caldwell and Fayette Counties in central Texas have several cattle operations being monitored. Vets warn that the fever tick if it spreads could devastate the cattle industry.

That “big news” story last week coming from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller may not be as wonderful as Miller said. The Commissioner reported that he has approved Kaput Hog Poison for use by Texans who have pesticide licenses. What he neglected to say is that there are a bunch of unanswered questions about using Warfarin-laced pellets to feed and kill feral hogs. So far, our neighbors in Louisiana have stated they will study the issue before turning folks loose to purchase Kaput Hog Bait. And no wonder!

To use the bait, special feeders, made by the Kaput Bait outfit, must be used to feed the product. And then, is it 100 percent safe to consume the pork from a feral hog brought down by the Warfarin product?

We do know that if the dead hog consumed the bait, the fat will be blue — indicating that poison cut off oxygen to the lungs of the hog. Now, reckon folks will readily consume pork from that animal? And if so, are their health risks?

Frankly, most landowners I know would be pleased if Kaput does work without harming any other animal other than the feral hog. But if Commissioner Miller is again spouting off with his usual rhetoric for political or economic gain, as he has been prone to do, we need to be listening to what other folks are saying about the safety of the product.

Until Kaput Hog Bait has been fully vetted and known to be safe for use around animals and humans, keep your money in your pocket and continue shooting and trapping the rascally feral hogs!