Racial Profiling for Pigs? Change in Michigan law classifies heritage pig breed as feral, can be shot on site
Farmers and ranchers – including Ted Nugent – are boiling mad about a new law that classifies their domesticated pigs as “feral.”
On Saturday afternoon, retired Airforce veteran Mark Baker scuttled his wife and eight children away from their Marion, Michigan farm, and spent a stressful night awaiting a raid by state officials. Baker had been tipped off by a fellow farmer that agents were planning on eradicating his heard of heritage pigs.
Why? Because as of April 1, a controversial ruling by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) transformed the 13 Russian sows Baker breeds with his heritage Mangalitsa boar, into an invasive species. He was suddenly in violation of the law and at risk for having the hogs on his farm wiped out.
This really does look quite a bit like regulatory capture. Pork producers have a legitimate concern that wild, feral pigs could introduce devastating diseases to large scale pig farms, but classifying domestically-raised heritage breeds as “feral” is pretty damn sketchy.
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