Explaining the Michigan Feral Pig Saga (with Video)October 12th, 2011
The swine saga is not necessarily done, but here is a rundown of where things are at this minute.
A Department of Natural Resources director’s order listing sporting swine as an invasive species took effect over the weekend on Oct. 8, making it illegal to possess the animals in Michigan.
However, active enforcement of the order will not start prior to April 1, 2012, so sporting swine facilities (game ranches) can use the next six months to reduce the pig population on their properties. In April, facilities still harboring wild boars and other sporting swine may face violations and fines.
At the same time, the Michigan Senate has House bills pending in the Senate Committee on Agriculture that would regulate the facilities and override the invasive species order. It seems that legislative leaders are divided on the bills since no hearing has yet been scheduled. MUCC feels these bills still leave taxpayers and sportsmen on the hook for funding the regulations and enforcement efforts which, given the state of the General Fund, could lead to lax enforcement and continued issues with escaped feral swine on the landscape.
Other things that could throw a kink in implementing the invasive species order are the threats of lawsuits from the game ranches.
People have asked how they can help. First, call your Michigan Senator and tell them that we don’t want to be on the hook to pay for regulating the sporting swine industry; we should let the DNR invasive species order stand. Second, hunters have the authority to shoot feral swine on sight. Follow these links for a list of counties where swine have been sighted or killed in recent years and see this DNR site for the regulation details
MUCC continues to follow this issue and will keep you posted.