Humane Pork Producers are Endangered Species in Michigan


Pigs Raised in their Natural Habitat, Fields and Forest

Starting this Sunday, April 1, 2012, heritage pork producers will find themselves violating a new law which declares their prized farm animals an “invasive species.” Honest, hardworking farmers will face having their herds destroyed by the government, and possibly criminal charges.

An Indiana restauranteur, Pete Eshelman from the Joseph Decuis Restaurant and Farm procures heritage breed Mangalitsa pigs from Michigan. He is so concerned about the plight of the farmers he supports, that he commissioned a videographer to make this compelling video appeal for public support.

Watch the Video

What You Can Do to Protect Humane Pork Producers in Michigan

Contact Governor Rick Snyder by e-mail,  and/or phone, 517-335-7858.

Do not allow his office to direct you to the DNR.

Talking points:

  1. The MDNR needs to stay off farms
  2. The MDNR needs to repeal the Invasive Species Order.
  3. This is not the Michigan Legislature’s fault, the “Invasive Species Order” was created by and is being implemented by the MDNR

Other states are watching this issue. Here is a TV news story that ran in Indiana.

Farm Regulation in Michigan Could Potentially Harm Indiana Farmers

The Sleazy Politics Behind this Measure

The pork confinement operations in Michigan have come out in favor of this new law.  As the public becomes increasingly aware of the eco-damage, filth and animal cruelty on these mega farms, rather than clean up their act they are pressuring government agencies to thwart alternative production models. So sensitive to the growing public concern about their practices, in some states pork producers are introducing Ag-Gag legislation to keep the public from seeing how their food is produced.

According to the USDA,  all together, the 2009 small farms in Michigan raise less than 500  pigs. And, 1725 of those farms have less than 25 pigs. In contrast, a typical factory farm would have several barns, with upwards of 5000 hogs under each roof!

See my previous story: Michigan CAFOs Conspire with Government to Ban Outdoor Pig Farming

One source tells Hartke is Online! that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has ballooned in size since 2009, doubling the number of employees to 3500 state-wide. So hungry for revenue is this beast of an agency, their agents stake out roadkill, and when a motorist stops and takes the dead deer home to feed his family, they follow him home and fine the citizen $1500.00 for not having a hunting license!

One of the main reasons behind the DNR scheme to target feral pigs, is financial. See Pete Kennedy’s analysis of this state agency’s agenda to drive private hunting preserves out of business to increase revenue from public hunting grounds.

Is this agency just too big to thrive? Is that why they are out-of-control and trampling over the rights of farmers (like a bunch of destructive feral pigs)? Consider this. Those on the DNR payroll outnumber the 2000 small farms which raise pigs humanely. Perhaps it is as simple as, their jobs vs. these farm businesses?

Seems the new invasive species is state employees rather than wild pigs!

Kimberly Hartke is publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation.


  1. Kit Duffield says:

    I’m from Michigan and have been asking questions about this. Some people have put the pigs out to pasture in poor fencing and have lost their pigs to the wild. Oops. Then there are the shooting clubs that release the pigs into large acre enclosures and charge hunters to come hunt. People who put pigs out in pasture need to bring them in at night.

  2. Kit, who are you to tell someone what they have to do with their property? Do the pigs not brought in at night somehow infringed on your liberty, or property. If not then you have zero say in what someone does with their property. To say that you think someone should have their rights infringed by the government is pretty stupid. How about you have to lock your pets in a closet at night. So that way they don’t get hurt or escape.

  3. Speaking as a small heritage breed hog farmer, I can tell you that ‘we’ are not endangered. There are dozens of us in the state raising heritage pigs on our open pastures, who have been in contact with the DNR, and to our knowledge only one farm is targeted by the ISO. We do not know the specifics behind the DNR’s interest in Baker’s farm and hope that whatever is going on can be resolved in a calm manner.

  4. I refuse to give up my liberties to choose where and what I buy. Agenda 21 will infringe on us all if we let it and don’t get involved. Take your freedom while you still have it and put it to good use. Remember, what you don’t use, you lose. Gee, I wonder if the big producers are processing any of these type pigs. Maybe they should be inspected, too!

    If this is implemented, I will stop buying meat at major chain stores and will buy locally grown pigs. Vote with your money. Boycott major members of the CAFO. Call Governor Rick Perry in Lansing to express your opinion or write him an email. I’m also going to boycott the MDNR and not renew any of my licenses until they come to their senses.

  5. Kimberly Hartke says:

    Hey Joe, maybe you could reach out to some of the fishing and hunting groups and get them on board. If they withdraw their support from public hunting grounds and choose to go private, that might send the strongest message!

  6. Lee Irwin says:

    @Lynn Nye – If you read the DNR Declaratory ruling as it is written, the only pig that ISN’T subject to slaughter by this ruling lives in a CAFO. It’s pretty simple. And if you read it REALLY carefully, the DNR gives themselves free reign to change the rules and definition of what pigs are allowed to be grown on your property.

    Isn’t that just a bit heavy handed? Who is to say that your pigs aren’t next?

  7. Lee Irwin says:

    @Kit – There is a “shoot to kill” law already on the books to deal with pigs who have escaped and have become feral. There is no need to preemptively slaughter pigs that may become feral should they escape captivity.

    All pigs have the potential to become feral, including those pigs raised by the major pork producers, and yet their pigs are exempted. Doesn’t sound quite right, does it?

  8. I sent a letter to the governor and posted this on Facebook. Keep up the good fight!

  9. Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was
    wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and
    I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.


  1. […] Here’s a great article on the situation from the beginning: […]

Speak Your Mind