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DNR Issues Declaratory Ruling on Sporting Swine

December 15th, 2011

Another chapter in the sporting swine saga has been written; the DNR has just issued a declaratory ruling on how they will determine what defines a prohibited invasive swine.

As you know, the Department of Natural Resources director’s order listing sporting swine as a prohibited invasive species took effect 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 continue to use this time to reduce the pig population on their properties. In April, facilities still harboring wild boars and other sporting swine may face violations and fines. Violation of the prohibited invasive species statute (PA 451 of 1994, Part 413) can be a felony associated with hefty fines in the state of Michigan.

But the question arose from the Michigan Animal Farmers Association, an umbrella group for captive hunting facilities and their breeding facilities, as to how the DNR will determine what is a prohibited species versus what is considered a legal domestic hog. The prohibited species list says that:

Sec. 40.4 (1) Possession of the following live species, including a hybrid or genetic variant of the species, an egg or offspring of the species or of a hybrid or genetically engineered variant, is prohibited:…(b) Wild boar, wild hog, wild swine, feral pig, feral hog, feral swine, Old world swine, razorback, eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus). This subsection does not and is not intended to affect sus domestica involved in domestic hog production.

After consulting with scientists and reviewing the scientific literature, the DNR’s ruling states that they will use “phenotypes,” or physical characteristics, to determine what pigs are prohibited under this order. In the response, they said that they will use factors such as bristle coloration; underfur and coat coloration and pattern; and skeletal, ear, and tail structures and appearances to define what a wild boar looks like.

  • Stan Klein

    As I understand it, the State has made no arrangements to compensate the game ranches for the animals they must dispose of. I do know of one ranch that has approximately 1,000 head of hogs. They are valued at approximately $700.00 each when taken in a hunt. This ranch has never had an animal escape in all the years they have been in business. There is no way this rancher can dispose of 1,000 head by April 2012. This action will totally ruin this owner’s economic future as the hog hunts are his major source of income.

    • Grumpy Old Man

      I guess you haven’t kept up with the issue, Stan. Escaped wild hogs cause $Billions in agricultural and environmental damage nation-wide. Now who pays for that? The farmer/rancher, and on public lands the taxpayers. The southern and southwestern states have eradication programs. Who pays for that? The taxpayers. Mexico has a program to erradicate 50,000 wild hogs that have moved across the border from TX. Who pays for that? Probably, ultimately us, because the U.S. caused the problem. I don’t feel too bad for your acquaintance in the broad scheme of things. Better he suffer than me. Canned hunts are an abomination anyway.

  • huggatree

    While I dont like the fact that MORE governmental regulations are going to hurt commerce It’s a case of bad apples spoiling the the whole bag. If people would have been responsible with their wild hogs we wouldnt be in this spot.
    @ Stan this has been going on long enough that your friend has had enough time to reduce his herd. I am sur he can sell the hogs outa state, to a butcher, or lower the rates for hunts and I’m sure they will sell out

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like the guys that run the wild pig hunt are looking for a BAILOUT and want us legitimate hunters and taxpayers to fund it.

  • HairyPutter

    @Stan;
    This problem with feral hogs is not new. The DNR has been talking about this for a long time. If your gamefarm friend has invested in over 1000 hogs, he hasn’t been paying attention to what has been happening around him. Not a good business practice.

  • Jeffross1965

    so now all those that might be fine will just let them go in the wild to cause even more damage ….

  • Michiagnhunter

    There is all this talk on how these pigs are destroying crops and how there are hundreds of theses critters out there destroying our hunting and carring all sorts of disease. Here is what I find funny about all this is I have been hunting in Michigan since 1973, I have hunted from Allegan to Atlanta and I have never seen a wild pig or even found any pig sign. Actually I have never met a hunter that has seen one. I have heard stories but that is about it.

    I am all for closing down the pig gig if it is a real concern, but to be honest I really don’t think it’s as bad as the DNR make it out to be, I am thinking it’s more of a political issue with certain special intrest groups, just like issuing the liberal doe tags because the DNR says there is way to many deer yet this was one of the worse deer harvest in years. Just some food for thought before we start burning all the witches.

    • Cg2880

      I expect those that have the problem-private land owners- will be reluctant to let hunters on the land without a fee….Maybe those that charge $700 should consider $300. or less since, most of the 1000 he owns cost him little since they do multiply rather quickly, according to the experts.

      Do the ‘farmers even feed them or do the pigs feed themselves there like on state(taxpayers) land.

  • TheDNRisAjoke

    i couldn’t believe seeing those HOG wanted signs the DNR put up. The DNR in michigan is a god damn joke. Ask a hunter how his season is going. Most peoples aren’t, there’s fewer deer every year DNR got bought out by geico and allstate. I hope the pigs do come because then there will be something to put on my place besides the RARE deer

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