A number of small family farms in rural Michigan may be shutdown by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), after they passed a new law that bans farmers from raising certain breeds of free range pigs.
The DNR issued a declaratory ruling that says any pig that displays certain characteristics (characteristics that almost all free range pigs show) be deemed a feral pig that must be destroyed. Anyone that refuses to kill their pigs will be effectively turned into a felon that could face major jail time.
Beginning April 1st 2012, Michigan’s “Invasive Species Order” (ISO) makes raising certain types of free range pigs a felony crime, punishable by up to four years in prison. The order allows the Michigan DNR to seize, and destroy the free range breeds without compensating the farmers whose pigs are killed. Remember, these are the same type of pigs that small family farmers have been successfully raising for decades in Michigan. In fact, the order is so broad that almost all pigs, with the exception of those raised in large commercial slaughterhouses, would be affected.
These farmers are now stuck with only two choices; face the prospect of becoming a felon, or see their farm shutdown and their livelihood taken away.