Michigan’s Armed Raids on Small Pig Farmers

NaturalNews can now confirm that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has, in total violation of the Fourth Amendment, conducted two armed raids on pig farmers in that state, one in Kalkaska County at Fife Lake and another in Cheboygan County. Staging raids involving six vehicles and ten armed men, DN[R] conducted unconstitutional, illegal and arguably criminal armed raids on these two farms with the intent of shooting all the farmers’ pigs under a bizarre new “Invasive Species Order” (ISO) that has suddenly declared traditional livestock to be an invasive species.

via Natural News.

It’s worth noting that Natural News’ writing contains some hyperbole.  So I went looking for another source for the story….

Implementation of the ISO, as of April 1st, not only takes private property without compensation it also denies farmers of fundamental private property rights and the right to make a living.  It will reduce or eliminate customer access to heritage breed pork, a product that has become increasingly popular with health conscious consumers and restaurants across the state.

The ISO allows DNR to seize and destroy pigs raised by Michigan farmers; Michigan DNR has publicly stated they will not compensate farmers whose pigs are destroyed. Possession of prohibited swine after April 1, 2012 is a felony with penalties of up to two years in jail and $20,000 in fines.

Attorney Joseph O’Leary is suing the DNR on behalf of four of the aggrieved business owners. He explains, “Wildlife is owned by the state; it is the role of the DNR to regulate and control state property. Livestock on farms is privately owned and properly belongs in the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. When a governmental agency blurs these lines, people had better wake up and take notice because at that point we are all in a lot of trouble.”

via Global News Wire.

A little more perspective there.  And I tend to agree with attorney O’Leary.  Government intrusion into our private lives rarely ends well.  This story reminds me of Reagan’s old line about the nine most terrifying words in the English language being, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

But we still don’t know what’s really going on here.  Why is the Michigan DNR going after small pig farmers in the first place?

The Michigan Pork Producers Association and other large agribusiness interests, as well as conservation groups have worked together with the DNR to push for the ruling to be implemented. For the factory pork breeders, this is about eliminating the competition. The ISO ensures consumers will only have the choice of pork raised in confinement, known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).For more than a decade, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has worked politically to drive private hunting preserves out of business. However, the Michigan state legislature repeatedly rebuffed their attempts. Elected officials recognize how important private property rights are, and they were unwilling to prohibit landowners to raise and harvest animals in open areas. Now, backed by large Agribusiness interests in the state, DNR has done an end run around participatory democracy and declared swine with certain characteristics “feral” which not only includes animals raised at hunting preserves but thousands of other small farms across the state.

“The DNR has strayed into the unfamiliar territory of agriculture regulation. Given the nebulous and open ended description by which pigs are targeted, farmers fear for their futures,” says Pete Kennedy, Esq., President of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.


You see, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the GSA partying in Vegas or the MI DNR, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  People placed in positions of power will abuse that power if not constantly checked on by the people.

I hope this story gets some MSM attention and people understand that the few should not get away with oppressing the many.