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consumer access to raw milk and nutrient dense foods.
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Michigan Swine ISO

The Invasive Species Order (ISO) went into effect April 1, 2012.  The order was issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources(DNR) in December 2010 to prohibit "feral" swine which are identified by such ubiquitous characteristics that most any swine, especially heritage breeds raised on family farms, are unjustly threatened with eradication.


This has become a national concern and people are Taking Action. The ISO is a blatant attempt to take away property rights, freedom of food choice and market share through the force of law. 

Update 6/27/12 - Michigan Swine ISO still Threatens Heritage Breeds

Action Alert 4/10/12 - Stop Michigan DNR Power Grab

Press Release 4/5/12 - Michigan Agency Creates Hardship for Heritage Pig Farmers, Hunting Preserves say Legal Experts

News Flash!

3/29/12 - Testimony before MI Senate Ag Committee
[Video Recording]

Agenda: Presentation by Mark Baker, Bakers Green Acres, Missaukee
County concerning the DNR Invasive Species Order and Declaratory Ruling
and the impact on his farm operation.

Read Big Pig Lobbyist Uses Cloakroom Tactics to Foil Small Farm Defense

Watch the video now!

Taking Action – Who to Contact

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has the power to rescind the order. Use the Online Petition - Send FAX to Gov. Snyder to Rescind swine ISO

Primary Talking Points:

  1. DNR needs to stay off farms
  2. DNR needs to repeal the Invasive Species Order to not include ALL swine that are under the husbandry of humans no matter how they are raised.
  3. The order denies consumers their rights to access foods of their choice.
  4. The order violates farmers' property rights and the right to make a living.
Dan Wyant, MDEQ Director
MI Dept of Environmental Quality 
P.O. Box 30473
Lansing, MI 48909-7973
[email protected] 
Phone: 517-373-7917
Press Office:  517-241-7390
Fax: 517-241-3571
Governor Rick Snyder, State Capitol
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
[email protected]
PHONE: (517) 335-7858
FAX:(517) 335-6863

Call Director Dan Wyant, who also heads the Michigan Quality of Life Group (which also oversees DNR), to convince the Governor to rescind the ISO.

Click here for full list of recommended persons to contact.

See Sample Letter below

FAQ - Swine ISO

"FAQ"  blog post by Jill Baker on 27 February 2012

There are several questions that people have asked (or been too confused to ask) about the DNR Invasive Species Order declaratory ruling regarding swine. Mark is working on another video that may answer more questions, but here are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions . . . more

Please consider making a contribution to the Baker's Legal Defense Fund

Wild Pig Ban Challenged

Audio recording of Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) spot by Peter Payette on 16 February 2012 (less than 4 minutes)

Wildlife officials took aggressive action last year to keep pigs from becoming a permanent feature of Michigan's landscape. Certain kinds of pigs were declared an invasive species. But farmers and ranchers say the move was too extreme and are now challenging the science of the ban.

Among those protesting is Stuart Kunkle. He has ten pigs at his small farm south of Traverse City. Some are mulefoots and others are mangalitsas. These pigs are hairy and black. Kunkle got into pigs for a few reasons. One is he has a day job and pigs are less work than other animals. And he says the market for pastured pork is growing and chefs have become interested in some of the heritage breeds. . . More

Listen to the audio recording

Invasive Hype?

Podcast of “Points Live” on Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) with Jim Moses on 17 February 2012 (approx. 15 minutes)

Last year the state declared wild pigs an invasive species. Wildlife officials say a wild pig population would be a serious threat to conservation in Michigan. So certain types of pigs will be illegal come April. The ban was mainly aimed at private hunting ranches, but a growing number of hog farmers raise heritage breeds. And they learned recently these might run afoul of the new law. Jim Moses has a farm in Leelanau County. He does not have pigs but is active in the small farm movement. He says the ban is just another attack on small farms and is largely driven by hype.

Listen to the podcast

Legal Defense

blog post by Jill Baker on 22 February 2012
Mark recently posted a video explaining our pig situation with the DNR and what you can do to help.  There is also a blog entry a bit further back explaining things.  We do have a Legal Defense Fund set up to help cover the costs associated with this battle for the right to farm as best we can.  Checks should be made out to “Mark Baker” and can be sent to:

1579 Brinks Rd.      Marion, MI      49665

Make donation online

Sample Letter

Dear ___________ ,

It has come to my attention that the Michigan DNR has issued an Invasive Species Order on Michigan swine that includes a prohibitively broad definition of what constitutes an invasive swine. Many of the characteristics in the order's list of phenotype traits also apply to heritage/old world swine breeds that are being raised by hundreds of farmers throughout the state.

It is my concern that these farms could be threatened by the DNR, which does not grant protections to these swine that are being raised responsibly, in contained fences on distinct properties and in legitimate agricultural operations. Here is what Rodney Stokes, director of the Michigan DNR has said about the order:

"Any swine, whether pure or hybrid, exhibiting these characteristics are prohibited.  All people in the state of Michigan are subject to this prohibition regardless of their use of this type of swine. Your constituents that wish to purchase swine can look at the characteristics listed in the Ruling and choose swine that do not exhibit the prohibited characteristics."

And from the words of one Michigan hog farmer: "Our concern is that this ruling effectively eliminates genetic diversity in the Michigan hog population, leaving us with the less hardy, non-foraging hybrids suited only for large hog-house production."

Unfortunately, there are thousands of consumers and farmers who specifically would like to choose to raise and consume pork that would be banned by the DNR. It is therefore a violation of our right to raise and eat the breeds of animals that we choose, granted they constitute no grave threat to the health and well being of the current domestic pig population nor to the Michigan ecosystems monitored by the DNR.

We urge you to support repealing the DNR Invasive Species Order.  Old world/heritage breed swine must be allowed to be raised by farmers and not be allowed to be confused by the DNR with feral hogs who have bred and roam in wild and unfenced public and private lands.



Michigan DNR vs Small Hog Farm
MI DNR vs Small Hog Farm - part 3

Mark Baker talks about the Michigan DNR's declaratory ruling which calls heritage hogs an invasive species and the impact on small scale hog producers. 

More videos posted at
Baker's Green Acres

About Mangalitsa Hogs

"Michigan DNR
Going Hog Wild
by Pete Kennedy, Esq.

In a brazen power grab threatening the livelihood of hundreds of small farmers, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is using the state Invasive Species Act to expand its jurisdiction beyond hunting and fishing to farming operations. On April 1, 2012 an Invasive Species Order (ISO) that DNR issued in December 2010 prohibiting the possession of a number of different breeds of swine will go into effect.

The order allows DNR to seize and destroy heritage breeds of pigs that farmers are raising; and DNR will not compensate farmers whose pigs are destroyed. In the logic of the department, "Indemnification in [Michigan] statute is for livestock and invasive species are not livestock, and are therefore, not eligible for indemnification."
Read More

Related Documents
CFS Notice of Intent to Sue

Rep. Booher Asks Gov to Rescind ISO

MI Legislators' Letter to Gov[3/30/12]

Baker's Complaint [2/24/12]

Stokes Letter to MAFA [2/17/12]

Stokes Letter to McBroom [2/8/12]

MAFA Letter to Stokes [2/8/12]

Declaratory Ruling [12/13/11]

Invasive Species Order (ISO)