As Hawaii’s feral pig population grows, a ‘non-toxic’ birth control could offer a solution

As an Oahu distributor tries to stunt the growing population of wild pigs with "non-toxic" birth control, some hunters are skeptical.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:32 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 12, 2022 at 11:08 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu resident has become a distributor for HogStop, a product that is being used to control feral pig populations.

Kaui Lucas lives in Pia Valley where her backyard is the forest. She said she’s tried trapping, but the traps don’t always work.

Because she deals with wild pigs all day and night, Lucas is hoping to find a solution, becoming an exclusive distributor for HogStop.

The first batch of HogStop arrived in Hawaii earlier this week.

Lucas said it’s a birth control for wild animals like pigs, deer and goats.

Its ingredients include molasses, corn and salt — but it’s the cotton seed that keeps them from reproducing. A natural ingredient in the feed’s cotton seed works as a contraceptive.

“It’s non-toxic,” said Lucas. “There are no neurotoxins, there are no endocrine disruptors.”

Lucas said HogStop provides a cheaper solution for anyone considering a fence, while still being humane.

The Department of Agriculture said HogStop is exempt from registration by EPA.

“It appears that the products such as HogStop are exempted from registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (Section 25(b). Products under exemption by the EPA are not required to be licensed in Hawai`i. Under Section 25(b), the manufacturers are not required to prove efficacy for their claims to EPA or the state.”

DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife released the following statement:

“From a legal standpoint (based on the DOA comment), as long as the deployment is in areas where the landowners have given explicit permission, we do not object. The design of the product would have potential long-term benefits but would not solve the current damage being reported.”

According to HogStop, the feed itself can affect fertility in other animals and should only be used in recommended feeders to keep birds and other animals out.

The Pig Hunters Association of Oahu is skeptical about the feed because they eat what they catch.

“And I feel that shouldn’t be used because we use the meat for different type of cooking,” said Roy Kainoa, president of the Pig Hunters Association of Oahu.

But the company said pigs who consume the HogStop should pose no additional health risks.

Hunters believe their methods are more effective.

“So, from April until now, we had taken out almost 230 pigs on the eradication taskforce.”

“It isn’t a silver bullet, but I do believe it is a game changer,” said Lucas. “It’s humane and it’s nontoxic, you can eat the meat.”

Lucas said the price for HogStop is fluctuating because of gas and shipping prices.

For more information about HogStop Hawaii, click here.

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