Texas Veterinary Medical Association Votes to Support S.B.1454 and H.B.3451 Requiring A Study of Kaput

"There is concern among the veterinary medical community that the mass distribution of Kaput (trademark Kaput®), a product containing Warfarin (rat poison), could have serious, unintended consequences on humans, other animals, including livestock and wildlife

The Texas Veterinary Medical Association voted to support S.B. 1454 and its companion legislation in the house H.B. 3451 to require scientific studies of Kaput before mass distribution of the poison on Texas land and pastures.

“There is concern among the veterinary medical community that the mass distribution of Kaput (trademark Kaput®), a product containing Warfarin (rat poison), could have serious, unintended consequences on humans, other animals, including livestock and wildlife and requires further study to ensure it’s a safe, efficacious means for Feral Hog control and does not endanger humans or other animals.”

Texas veterinarians often treat dogs that suffer from warfarin poisoning, either from directly ingesting rat poison or from eating rats that have ingested rat poison. “As a poison, warfarin kills animals by inhibiting the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. The animal can bleed to death in a protracted, very painful death. The process leading to death can include dehydration, nutrient loss, and inability to drink enough to maintain blood pressure and inability to eat enough to replace the nutrients lost from the bloodstream.” The label on the warfarin-based poison in issue (Kaput®) states, among other things:

• “Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Keep away from humans, domestic animals and pets”
• “ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS This product may be toxic to fish, birds and other wildlife. Dogs and other predatory and scavenging mammals and birds might be poisoned if they feed upon animals that have eaten the bait.”
• “Do not allow livestock to graze on baited areas.”
• “Attention: This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Given the potentially serious consequences and potential collateral effects on humans, livestock, dogs and other pets, and wildlife, and given the issues of humaneness involved in killing feral hogs or non-target species by use of warfarin poisoning, TVMA recommends that the proposed warfarin product be subjected to scientific study, including field studies in the real-world Texas setting of our open ranchlands, most of which do not have hog-proof fencing.

Accordingly, TVMA endorses the approach incorporated in S.B. 1454 and H.B. 3451 to provide for such testing and study before use of warfarin in Texas for feral-hog control.

About the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Founded in 1903, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association is a professional association composed of more than 3,700 veterinarians committed to protecting public health, promoting high educational, ethical and moral standards within the veterinary profession and educating the public about animal health and its relationship to human health. For more information, call 512/452-4224 or visit www.tvma.org.

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