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Abbott signs hot air balloon hog hunting bill in spite of warning that it could be a “catastrophe”

Wild hogs and hot air balloons aren’t a good mix, wrote one Republican lawmaker to Gov. Greg Abbott in May, trying to convince the governor to veto a bill he said could create a “future catastrophe.” The request seemingly fell on deaf ears; Abbott signed the legislation last month. Here’s what you need to know:

• The bill creates “a false sense of safety,” state Rep. John Cyrier, R-Lockhart — whose district was the site of a deadly balloon crash last summer — told Abbott in a May 27 letter, referencing a measure that will soon let Texans hunt feral hogs from a hot air balloon. Lawmakers unanimously passed the legislation in May, but Cyrier said he didn’t speak up because “it was something that I personally had missed” amid the session. People in Texas are already able to hunt feral hogs using a helicopter, thanks to a bill the Legislature passed in 2011. Cyrier, a licensed airplane pilot, said he’s done it more than 10 times.

 There are plenty of feral hogs in Texas. More than 2 million wild pigs currently roam the state, and officials have taken numerous jabs at trying to halt the destructive species’ growing population… Read more from the Texas Tribune