Here Piggy, Piggy: The Political Battle for Feral Swine

On April 1st, a new Michigan law was implemented to help combat the feral swine infestation.  The bill recognizes that feral swine have become an invasive species worthy of political action.  As some may know, wild hogs and feral swine have been devastating to Michigan’s agricultural business.  In fact, it was estimated that 1000s of jobs could be loss due to wild hog consumption of their crops.

On top of the pigs eating crops, they also pose a major threat to ecosystems and to humans.  In terms of the ecosystem, swine immediately become one of the top predators in whatever system they choose to roam.  Taking away vital food from local animals and pushing them out of their natural habitat.  Also, swine carry parasites, and diseases like swine cholera and tuberculosis which obviously can affect various populations.  Not only do those diseases affect animals but they also affect us people.  The spread of tuberculosis and salmonellosis spread quickly among domesticated animals (farm pigs and cattle) and local agriculture.  Which, in turn creates a problem for humans because we love to eat pork and beef.

Alternatively, the passing of the bill has stirred up some political debate of whether or not the law is fair.  The law makes it so people can go out and hunt these feral pigs, which the DNR gives incentive to do so.  Kind of like the Asian Carp, turning in a wild pig is rewarded in a monetary fashion.  Also, the law gives the DNR permission to inspect any farm that they suspect of housing wild hog or feral swine. And, if in fact they are, eliminate the illegal swine on site.  This is partially what has caused the debate, because several farmers claimed the DNR has came in and exterminated their whole lot of pigs.  As a result, several law suits have been filed against the DNR and are still pending on results. But, more than likely, will not be successful.

Do you agree with the hunting of wild hog and feral swine? Leave a comment with your opinion.  Also, here are a few websites that speak more about the subject.

http://www.porknetwork.com/pork-news/

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/

http://nationalhogfarmer.com/

Jacob Moses

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4 responses

  1. For the most part I agree with the hunting of wild hog and feral swine. As an invasive species, they don’t belong in Michigan and are ruining the natural order of the ecosystem and plants and animals that do belong here. Since they are causing so many problems the pros of killing them outweigh the cons. I think the only thing that doesn’t seem completely right is allowing the DNR to kill the pigs raised by farmers. It makes sense that this would be necessary to control the problem, but the pigs are the farmers’ property. I think they should have the right to forbid farmers to sell any of those pigs or their meat but maybe not necessarily kill them. As long as they kept them contained on their farm, they wouldn’t cause as many problems except for the farmer that owns them.
    Christina Evenson

  2. The swine should be delt with the same way the DNR deals with over population of deer in urban areas. Give special permits to lower their numbers, for the good of the residents and the deer themselves. However, the DNR sould not have the right to conduct unwarrented searches of property.
    -Anthony A.

    1. I agree that the DNR should not search property unwarranted, its illegal as a matter of fact. But I don’t feel permitting the pigs will lower the number because these wild pigs are running on their own. I heard of this, but I didn’t realize it was a recent issue. What I got from hearing this elsewhere was that these animals were uncontrollably populous. In a since they are almost like snakes or racoons because they are wild animals and you really can’t control their way of living because they are wild. People can hunt them but will that really fix the problem?
      Sasheale Brown

  3. I have never heard of the swine problem. No one wants to get those diseases that they carry. It is a problem that is dangerous to handle. Pig’s can potentially injure hunters and any human in its area. I’m sure pigs have killed people as well. The government should start taking over if the DNR cannot handle it. People cannot ignore the issue. If I ever come across a pig, I will be really scared.
    Eric Weinberg

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