“…Big Ag’s Michigan Pork Producers Association similarly denies it is trying to stamp out small producers:
“Since the DNR began enforcement, opponents of the ISO have stepped up their efforts and rhetoric by embarking on a vicious misinformation campaign alleging that MPPA and ‘Big Ag’ have conspired with the DNR to put small, niche pork producers raising hogs outdoors out of business. We cannot stress enough that this is utter nonsense and absolutely untrue. Neither MPPA nor the DNR have any interest in deterring niche producers from continuing to operate as usual, unless the producer is using the breeds or types of hogs prohibited by the ISO, or crossing those prohibited breeds with domestic breeds to circumvent the ISO.”
Some of the best analysis on this situation is being offered by a Michigan lawyer, Jason Fosco, who said recently:
“The jitters coming from the heritage breeders within the state are therefore entirely justifiable. Every heritage breed that is commercially raised exhibits one or more of these (nine) ‘feral’ traits. Several of the prohibited characteristics are present in the purebred Mangalitsa for example, porcine royalty once served at the feasts of Habsburg princes.
“The plain meaning of the Order and its subsequent clarification would therefore allow the Department to morph a hog of the noblest, pedigreed heritage into a nuisance. Such animals could be destroyed by government decree based on the presence of an indefinite number of physical characteristics.
“It thus appears the Department composed the list of feral characteristics with complete disregard for the qualities of heritage breeds of livestock, phenotypic or otherwise. The Order prohibits the precise qualities that make them such important parts of a diversifying food system.”…”