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ARLINGTON The Arkansas Razorbacks, who come to play Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium this week, are a kind of hog that's welcome to visit North Texas.

Feral hogs are not.

The state has a new plan that encourages the public to hunt and trap the destructive swine.

It's that estimated two million feral hogs call Texas home. They breed quickly and are highly destructive, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.

Speaking at a news conference at River Legacy Park, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck said the swine are not just a rural problem. They're all over Texas. They're in Arlington. They're in this park, he said.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said 13 feral hogs were trapped in Southlake this week. He has declared October as Hog Out Month, and brought a trapper along to illustrate the best way to deal with them.

We need to be diligent all year long to combat this growing problem, Staples said. Wild feral hogs have been compared to fire ants in Texas.

Staples said that instead of trapping and hunting, the state is actively looking for more efficient ways to chemically sterilize and kill feral hogs while they're in the wild.

Staples is running for reelection. His opponent, Hank Gilbert, says Staples is grandstanding and actually allowed a deadline to pass that would have brought federal dollars to Texas that could have been used to control the growth of the feral hog population.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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