It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The new rule, as described in the Invasive Species Order ( ISO) and declaratory ruling-- is touted to control feral pigs (roaming wild) the state says–yet these pigs are already under control by hunters. The ISO clearly states can mean any type of pig. If a pig has a curly tail or a straight tail, ears that are with erect or floppy, striped piglets, hair on the underbelly, certain colors including being black, then these are “wild or feral hogs” even if on a farm behind fences. Approved, exempted swine include those raised in huge hog houses called CAFOs (Confined or concentrated animal feeding operations (commonly called factory farms) and the young pigs raised by farmers under contact with CAFOs contract. These CAFO owners have contracts with the giant food processors controlled by four companies. (The largest US pork producer is Smithfield –sold last month to the Chinese.)
In a ruling, the agency listed eight visual characteristics they argue are common to Russian boar and their hybrids. The wording indicates that a pig with just one of the listed characteristics could potentially be identified as a Russian boar or Russian boar hybrid. But critics, including Michigan state Sen. Joe Hune, say those guidelines are overly vague. If "the tail is either curly or straight, you can be a felon for owning that hog," Hune says.
Wildlife biologist Shannon Hanna, who is overseeing the agency's order, concedes that "some of the characteristics in the ruling are similar to a domestic hog breed," like light-colored underfur and striped piglets. But, she says, "it is highly unlikely that we would just pull one characteristic out of there." The agency's use of the word "feral" in the order has also further stoked the debate. "How can the DNR say that the pigs that are under my control, livin' in my barns — how can they say that they are feral?" asks farmer Mark Baker. So Baker filed suit against the agency, and gathered his kids and some squirming Russian piglets to make his case in a . Before it knew it, the DNR found itself in a massive food fight.
Mark received an email from a friend on January 17. This friend has a co-worker that had a conversation with a USDA official (at their work place) where this USDA official was asked his opinion about the Mark Baker case. This person apparently became very unsettled and replied "there is no way in hell that I am going to his [Baker's] place, nor any other person from the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development. We have been briefed by our chain of command that the only people allowed to go to his (Baker's Green Acres) place are armed DNR agents". He continued, "We were also told that he [Mark Baker] is a gun waving lunatic". Nothing could be further from the truth!
Mark Baker contends he's fond of his swine, just as he's fond of his dogs. "They can't force me to shoot an animal. I won't do it. I refuse to do it," he says.