Hearing scheduled in suit challenging swine ban
Department of Natural Resources declared swine invasive species in 2011, ordered farmers to get rid of them
A judge is scheduled to consider pretrial motions Friday in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Michigan's ban on exotic swine breeds.
The state Department of Natural Resources declared the swine an invasive species in 2011 and ordered farmers and game ranchers to get rid of them. The policy applies to Eurasian, Russian and razorback boars and similar breeds including hybrids. But opponents say it's so vaguely worded that it could apply to virtually all pigs.
The hearing will take place in Missaukee County Circuit Court, where farmer Mark Baker is challenging the order. His attorney says the DNR wants to fine Baker $700,000 for resisting.
He says the regulation violates his rights, but the DNR says it's essential to stop runaway hogs from damaging the environment and spreading diseases.
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