Michigan farmer faces $700,000 in fines for raising “wrong” breed of pigs

By Liz Reitzig

shared this story
from Police State USA.

Mark Baker poses with his exotic swine on his farm near McBain, Michigan. (Source: Associated Press / John Flesher)

Pigs can be unpleasant, vicious creatures, especially in groups. They are omnivorous, will destroy anything and frequently attack innocent people when given the opportunity. But that is just their nature. Remember the scene from the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy falls into the pig pen and everyone around her practically has a heart attack? That’s because they knew she could have easily been pig food. Pig farmers know how difficult the animals can be and take great care to not be in compromising situations including staying on the other side of the fence from them.

It’s no wonder, then, that the state of Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), specifically, takes issue with feral swine running rampant throughout the state. (I think there would be general consensus on that point: let’s not have horribly destructive animals free to roam the state and victimize helpless people. Oh wait…back to feral pigs…)

“We produce a better quality pork, and that’s a threat to the big pork producers. They’re trying to knock us down as fast as they can.” -Mark Baker

There are effectively no feral swine in Michigan. Oddly though, the DNR issued a declaratory ruling effective back in April of 2012 that all feral pigs had to be destroyed. In their description of feral pigs, they included characteristics often found in domesticated pigs, like having a curly tail or a straight tail or having hair or not having hair…you get the idea. For a full list, please visit here or here. The DNR’s description of feral swine fits every pig in the US; probably the world. Nowhere in this list of characteristics was there actually a requirement that the pigs be feral. Feral, as in, living outside of fences.

So why such a broad definition? The DNR admitted that the language for the declaratory ruling came from the pork industry and that they created a broad definition that effectively targeted the heritage breeds of pig being raised on family farms.

Subsequent to the declaratory ruling, the DNR ordered all pigs that met those qualifications to be depopulated by April 1, 2012. When Michigan farmers heard about this, many of them destroyed their herds. One farmer, Mark Baker, of Baker’s Green Acres, refused. He said he would not destroy his herd of domesticated, heritage breed pigs …read more

Source: Donkeyrock_BlurBlog

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