"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
Feral hogs can be a real problem. They destroy native ecosystems and are difficult to catch and relocate (previously). But folks, now we have a real problem. Radioactive boars are on the loose in Germany.
Delicious Arson at the Hog Rendering Plant? New York Pork, a Toronto based slaughterhouse, burned to the ground on November 6th. While the cause of the fire is still under debate, the photographs of the cleanup of more than 700 seared pig carcasses make for a disturbing Flickr slideshow.
Renegade wild hogs captured using dogs and bare hands. Greg Whidden captures the hogs from a nature preserve where they're causing environmental damage.
A group of scientists have announced that they have created cloned and genetically modified pigs that make their own omega-3 fatty acids. NPR has more on the story, including an audio report from Joe Palca. There are apparently some naturally occuring pigs with their own omega-3 fatty acids, primarily a Spanish breed called Ibérico. Descended from native Iberian wild boar, black-footed Ibérico hogs are raised in specially maintained oak forests, and feed primarily on acorns. Until last September, however, no Spanish producer had been approved to export Ibérico products to the United States, and consumers may have to wait a few more months before they can get their hands on the tasty pork. As the ham is sure to be in short supply, you can put down a $199 deposit now for a ham that will carry a final price tag of as much as $1000. If you're unable to wait for—or afford—the Spanish version, you can treat yourself now to the Bacon of the Month Club, which serves up a different artisanal bacon each month. For more on raising hogs, read James Buchan's account in the London Review of Books. And don't forget the bacon blogs:     .
"we're good at growing hogs, and we ought to be selling our hogs all across the world." Bush stumps at Pork Party about nixing the Estate Tax.
The 14th annual World Pork Expo starts today in Des Moines. 50,000 visitors and people from 50 countries are expected to be in attendance this weekend. Also in attendance will be George W. Bush.