by Gail Keirn, APHIS Legislative and Public Affairs (970-266-6007)
In November, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) accomplished two key tasks as part of its efforts to evaluate an oral toxic bait for use with invasive feral swine. First on Nov. 6, 2017, APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) received an Experimental Use Permit (EUP) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct sodium nitrite toxic bait field trials on free-roaming feral swine in Texas and Alabama. Second, on Nov. 20, APHIS signed a final environmental assessment and issued a Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) associated with conducting such field trials. Copies of the final environmental assessment and FONSI can be accessed online.
“Wildlife Services takes the selection and use of toxic baits for use in wildlife damage management very seriously. The final environmental assessment, FONSI, and EUP are the result of years of collaborative research by WS and multiple private, state, federal and international partners,” states WS Deputy Administrator Bill Clay. “With these in place, we can now begin field trials to help determine the effectiveness of the sodium nitrite toxic bait for removing feral swine sounders in natural settings, as well as any potential impacts to non-target wildlife.”
Source: USDA VS