As of April 1st Michigan's new Invasive Species Order took affect. This was introduced as a way to deal with the feral swine problem that Michigan was facing, but it way oversteps that. This order gives the DNR the ability to enter farms, ranches and small businesses and take private property without compensation.
As the order now stands, it has affected pig farmers that are raising the pig for meat, and allows the DNR to confiscate the animals. Wildlife is one thing, that belongs to all the people of Michigan, but farmers who's livelihood depends on their animals should not be threatened by the DNR, and this invasive species order. Some have already gone out of business, and others have felt the affects and hired a lawyer. Attorney Joseph O'Leary is suing the DNR on behalf of four of the aggrieved business owners. He explains, "Wildlife is owned by the state; it is the role of the DNR to regulate and control state property. Livestock on farms is privately owned and properly belongs in the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. When a governmental agency blurs these lines, people had better wake up and take notice because at that point we are all in a lot of trouble."
Heritage breed pork has been growing in demand, as more people start looking at where their meat comes from. This is a product that may not be available in Michigan much longer. Based on physical characteristics of the animal, farmers, ranchers, small business owners can be economically and criminally held accountable for the animals. After April 1st those that are in possession of the "prohibited" swine face a felony charge, with prison time and fines up to $20,000.
The Michigan Pork Producers Association and other large agribusiness interests, as well as conservation groups have worked together with the DNR to push for the ruling to be implemented. For the factory pork breeders, this is about eliminating the competition. The ISO ensures consumers will only have the choice of pork raised in confinement, known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). From MarketWatch.com .