Michigan demands destruction of 70 “feral” pigs plus $700,000 fine under the state’s “Invasive Species Order”

by David Michael, BSc, MSc, PEng

Should these pigs be killed just because they look different. Michigan seems to think so.

“On this Independence Day we should be celebrating freedom and thankful for those who died, were injured and served in the military over the decades to keep the freedom we have. This is the thanks this 20-year military veteran has received from the Michigan state government and this is an example of those freedoms being lost.

Late last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) demanded the payment of $700,000 from a small farm family of ten and the destruction of 70 of their pigs at Baker’s Green Acres, operated by Mark and Jill Baker and their eight children. This action followed Mark Baker’s comments during testimony opposing a new rule at a state congressional hearing where he identified himself as owner of three hogs deemed illegal (because of their looks).

He understood the new rule, called an Invasive Species Order (ISO) to mean the state would threaten him with fines, criminal charges and a two-year prison term and an order to destroy his animals. Baker answered the ISO by filing a lawsuit against the state agency for the damages and their reckless behavior.

In the latest action on Thursday, June 27—legal papers sent to the court say the state demands $700,000 in fines and destruction of the farm animals—all based on how the pigs look. These actions are not just against Mark and Jill– it is also against their children and their animals, too. This is one of five lawsuits against MDNR and their new ISO (several more suits are pending.

The Baker’s small farm business has nearly been ruined and at jeopardy now are their pastured poultry and beef production for local families who want want farm fresh, healthy food. The Baker’s have set up an interent crowdfunding account through Pledgie to handle the donations (that are only trickling in as of now) to meet family needs, feed pigs and fix the tractor and for the small fees being charged by an independent attorney.

(Below you will be asked to pledge your support to help the Baker’s by donating to help win this case for all farmers nationwide)…”

More on Journal of Natural Food and Health.

Read previous posts about this case on The Bovine.

Bakers Green Acres blog

Perhaps there’s some link to the Shropshire Sheep controversy up here in Canada. Click this for links to that story.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Michigan demands destruction of 70 “feral” pigs plus $700,000 fine under the state’s “Invasive Species Order”

  1. Tyrants and their minions will not stop unless they are met with ones who have sufficient knowledge! Therefor it behooves the people to become “wise as serpents” regarding the fundementals of Law and government because what has been taught in schools has only been what serves the tyrants and their minions. I invite dialogue at the forum that I have launched at Amazon.com at the page devoted to the book: “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Food Rights”.

  2. thebovine

    Of course the premise of such an invasive species order is essentially a web of lies. These pigs are not an invasive species. They are merely a different breed from those used by commercial pig growers. And they are posing no danger to the ecosystem comparable to the dangers posed by truly invasive species. One can only imagine that the powers of the state are here being hijacked by commercial interests seeking to stamp out the competition. The big guys don’t want competition from a better tasting, artisan grown pig of heritage breeds. But from the point of view of “we the people” it’s hard to see how allowing the state to become an enforcer for big business can ever be a good thing.

  3. Zeb Landon

    “Invasive species”? If this “invasive species” argument was accepted in the Michigan court as a reason to disallow this unusual breed of pig (–presumably because if some escaped they could thrive in the wild), why could this argument not at least equally apply to restriction of GMOs, and to restricting GMO alfalfa in particular?

    Is there any longer a doubt that GMO crop products will, within very few years, spread beyond the fields where they are intentionally seeded? Will these GMO strains not be nearly impossible to contain, and thus represent a threat to organic farmers’ efforts focused on producing non-GMO products? Now that’s what I would call actually truly “invasive species”.

    Since cats, for example, breed in the wild and are called “feral cats”, there could be a legitimate concern about spreading of some species. But if the farmer has his animals under control, not escaping and spreading outside the farm, his pigs are no more invasive than any other non-native species, of which there are very many, commonly raised or grown on farms. It’s not as if he is raising alligators in a creek running through his farm.

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