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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  • by Anonymous on Sep 11, 2010 at 12:11 PM
    I will say I lived near sunrise acres. I did see pigs on my property while out hunting. They are there and are very destructive. There are many in and around the area of Mosherville. Ask anyone in the area.
  • by deer slayer Location: mich. on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:36 AM
    i think ted nugent is a great guy i love his shows and i also spend alot of time in the woods and i have never seen a hog i wish i have because if i have i would have to stick a arrow in it :) i would love to do that
  • by Greg Location: Lansing on Sep 10, 2010 at 09:56 AM
    Why is an issue that even needs addressing? Does Mason have so much time on his hands that he can run around spotting them? Apprently he needs to get out of the woods, or he needs to get out of his office and into the woods...
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Sep 10, 2010 at 08:53 AM
    Just another Government agency creating regulations in order to secure their jobs. If they're not busy creating new rules, regulations, fees, etc. then perhaps the taxpayers would realize how useless most Government agencies truly are! Mr. Mason, we shall all be searching for your multitude of invisible pigs! When they are proven not to exist, then do we get to fire you? After all, you work for us! Reminder: Government workers do not 'produce' or 'create' anything ... except their own job security.
  • by cjhsa Location: GR on Sep 10, 2010 at 05:04 AM
    Russ Mason has not come to terms with his inner pig. A smattering of lies, a few strokes of a pen, and another Michigan cottage industry is destroyed based on science-free fear.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 10, 2010 at 04:39 AM
    Ted go back to Texas.
  • by scbby Location: lansing on Sep 9, 2010 at 08:38 PM
    teds right i am in the woods at least 300hrs a year,and have never seen one of these pigs, never even seen a track, i wish there were because i do like pork chops,we do have some big bucks out there
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