DNRE Aims to Control Feral Pigs

By: Katie Kim Email
By: Katie Kim Email

Officials at the DNRE believe they're wreaking havoc.

"We've had sightings of hogs all over the state," says Russ Mason, Chief of the Wildlife Division at the DNRE.

Farmers say it's nothing more than a mtyh.

"Show me where these wild boars are roaming. Show me one," says Ted Nugent, famous rock star and game farmer.

Regardless, the DNRE wants these feral pigs dead.

"They're a problem whether it comes to livestock predation, road crops, disease spread, destruction of wetlands," Mason says. "They eat turkey, they eat deer, they eat grouse."

So much of a preservation issue that Gov. Granholm signed a law allowing anyone to shoot a feral pig if they see one. But DNRE wildlife expert Russ Mason wants to take regulation further.

"We need to be more strict if we're going to solve this problem," Mason says. "Pigs outside of fences are just like i said before, 4-legged Asian carp. They are very dangerous animals."

Mason wants to ban the possession of pigs entirely and hold farmers accountable if the swine escape from their ranches.

"Right now, there's no regulation," says Mason. "You don't need a fence. We're going to require these guys pay for their industry."

But Nugent has some thoughts about that.

"Our government has become rhetorical and stupid."

He testified before the Natural Resources Commission on Thursday, saying more regulations will hurt Michigan's already struggling hunting industry. Nugent has a 300-acre game ranch in Jackson County and says boars have never escaped his property.

"I've been doing this for 20 years," says Nugent. "Pigs are containable. I think there's a pig farming industry going on and they are containing pigs."

Contained or not, the DNRE says boars pose too great a risk, and they're not willing to take that chance.

Mason says there will be another closed door meeting on Friday. He expects to have all the regulation recommendations squared away by early November.


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