Debbie Lewis, Securing Liberty
I must admit, when I called the Gaylord Office, the fellow who answered the phone there was more than polite and listened to my concerns. The lady who answered in Lansing was polite, but I could tell she was tired of dealing with the issue. I repeat, though, she wasn't rude.
I did write the Director's office about the issue, not truly expecting a reply, because I figured they are swamped. To my surprise, I did receive a reply. In fact, I received two.
According to the responses, this was not a "bizarre new "Invasive Species Order" (ISO) that has suddenly declared traditional livestock to be an invasive species" as Natural News would have you believe. The response I received stats the order went into effect October 8. 2011, and they held off enforcing the law for another 6 months to allow farmers and ranches time to come into compliance. Yet, it is not an “old” order, either!
Under subsection 40.4 in the MI DNR Invasive Species Order talks about the offending swine:
(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.
Now, that seems pretty general to me, but I could be wrong. I don't know much about swine.
Natural News, an organization for which I have a lot of respect, sensationalized their report further, by stating the farmers were forced to slaughter their "baby piglets in cold blood." Knowing the order was coming and allowing the sows to mate to produce more piglets is not the fault of the DNR.
That being said, if they are wild and tearing up the place, I MIGHT could understand the need to control them, given they carry diseases and destroy property, according to reports. (And my understanding of that is bases solely on said reports. IF it isn't true, I can't understand it!)
Still, the story seems to be two sided from both Natural News and the MI DNR. We know how government operations go, from time to time, lacking respect for people and property, but the MI DNR SAYS they conducted no raids (Natural News reports there WERE raids). On the other hand, the MI DNR says the inspections were "voluntary" and, for those who would not consent, search warrants were acquired (Again, according to the MI DNR). My one thought on this is, if the searches were truly voluntary, why would there be a need to get a search warrant? That, alone, means the searches were expected...which means they aren't truly voluntary, now are they? Tricky wording, but look at the facts, and you get the picture!
In my humble opinion, this comes down to our rights, with regard to pigs on the farms, and farming, in general. Are we allowed to pursue our happiness or not? If, in pursuing our happiness, we are responsible about the way we conduct our business, whose right is it to tell us what we can and can't do, on our own property? I say again, if the hogs are in the wild and are causing a major nuisance, then by all means, get rid of them. BUT, if the farmer in question has chosen to raise these hogs, and has taken the responsibility to put up appropriate fencing, why make him get rid of stock that helps him make a living in times when livings are so hard to come by?
The whole story is still being revealed, but we need to remember, when we start outlawing the right of people to make their own decisions, and especially on their own property, where does it stop? Where does government draw the line? Today it is about invasive swine that the MI DNR says are dangerous to MI. But, what will it be tomorrow? And this is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to our rights...There is SO much going on all over, no one person can keep up with it...No one!
My advice for you is that you need to take a stand. Maybe this isn't your fight, but someday it might be. IF you need help, wouldn't it be nice to know someone will stand up for your rights?