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.