Covering Louisiana

Sep 12, 2013 12:01 PM by Ian Auzenne

Diseases force Hunters for the Hungry to abandon hog donations

Hunters for the Hungry says it will no longer accept wild hog donations due to heightened precautions over diseases wild hogs carry.

Officials with Hunters for the Hungry say they came to the decision after consulting with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

LDWF's studies have found Swine Brucellosis and Leptospirosis in wild hogs in the state.

"Feral hogs contain a myriad of diseases," said state veterinarian Dr. Jim Lacour. "Swine Brucellosis and Leptospirosis are the two most dangerous (of those diseases) to humans."

Although hunters are advised to follow a number of safety precautions when handling harvested hogs, such as wearing protective gear, disinfecting utensils, and cooking the meat to 165°F, Lacour says meat processors often don't know the danger carried by the hogs they accept.

"People handling the meat on the processing end that may not know the risk or the danger exposed to the disease," Lacour said.

"We're not telling people not to eat it, but it can't be donated due to the risk."

Hunters for the Hungry says it will revisit the issue at a later date and hopes that it can resume accepting hog donations in the future.

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