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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    State Cracks Down On Small Farmers

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:47:46 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Invasive Species, Pigs, Swine, Bakers, Small Farms, Hormel, DNR, Regulations, Orders, Paper Pushers (all tags)

    Michigan's executive branch has officially designated a number of small farmers around the state as felons.

    This is NOT an April fools joke.

    On Sunday, April 1, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources began active enforcement of an Invasive Species Order declaring certain types of swine illegal in Michigan.  Storm troopers under order of the DNR began a "pig sweep" to root out those with particular characteristics. As part of that effort on Tuesday, April 3 the department's Law Enforcement Division conducted inspections of six properties that in the past may have had prohibited swine. The inspections were conducted with permission of the landowners. Each of the properties was found to be free of prohibited swine and therefore in compliance with the Invasive Species Order.

    Those facilities, farms or individuals still in possession of prohibited swine are in violation of the law and could face criminal or civil penalties under Part 413 of the state's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.  For harboring fugitive pigs. Randy Stokes, the DNR director says:

    "Our intent from the beginning of this Invasive Species Order has been to enforce the law while minimizing the impact on individuals and livelihoods. For that reason, we provided additional time and assistance for ranch owners, breeders and others to remove prohibited animals from their properties prior to the April 1 enforcement deadline. The additional time allowed property owners to adjust their business plans to minimize economic hardship. We will continue to work cooperatively with property owners where we can."
    While we perform discovery on their resources for penalty phase purposes.


    The Jackboots are on. Continue below.

    Michigan is home to a number of game farms.  Some of those farms utilize the swine for their ability to reproduce and the sport.  Other operations provide pork to restaurants throughout the state, and the designation of certain characteristics makes their operations illegal under the new order by the DNR.

    It should be noted that this started back in the Granholm administration, but finalized in 2011.
    Ed Golder, communications director told RightMichigan.com that:

    "The concerns were sparked by what we have seen happen in other states and by the growing number of invasive swine we have seen in Michigan. Invasive swine can cause significant harm to the environment and to Michigan's $300 million domestic pork industry. The animals carry diseases such as pseudorabies that can devastate domestic livestock. In addition, they root up farm fields and damage crops, as well as wallowing in rivers and damaging aquatic habitat."
    So .. instead of a less affective regulatory rules set, it was better for the DNR to bankrupt family farms and small farmers who rely on their pigs for a living?
    "Again, we don't know. But the size of the farm has nothing to do with the Invasive Species Order. Whether invasive swine are held on a small farm or a large farm, a game or a breeding ranch, the animals are prohibited."

    I wonder if Hormel will object to the new rules?

    When asked "How many farmers do you expect to be affected?" Golder replied:

    "Because there is currently no regulatory structure for these animals, we don't know. In the past we have identified several game ranches that have used these type of swine for hunting. Some of those ranches, working with us, have already disposed of their prohibited animals. We even helped some of them find out-of-state buyers for their animals."
    So it is OK to have the pigs somewhere else.  Just not here.  Indiana just signed a Right To work Law, maybe a right to farm pigs law is next, and they can get our small farms as well.

    As it was pointed out, no regulatory structure was ever put in place.  No attempt to actually work with the existing farms by the last administration or even this one with regard to this pig set.  No rules made in an attempt to solve the problem, but rather an outright ban of practices that has put food on the table of Michiganders for Decades.

    That, in a nutshell, is what we call executive abuse.

    But don't hold your breath for the legislature to do anything soon.

    We asked Lt Governor Calley about it last Saturday, and he blew it off as a game ranch issue.  He had no problem with the DNR putting the screws to the small farmers who utilize certain breeds of swine in their operations, while at the same time soaking the taxpayer inappropriately for his autism project.

    Nope, the Calvary came, ate the feast off the enemy's table and rode off as if the following characteristics equate with lead, or arsenic poisoning:

    Bristle-tip coloration: Sus scrofa exhibit bristle tips that are lighter in color (e.g., white, cream, or buff) than the rest of the hair shaft. This expression is most frequently observed across the dorsal portion and sides of the snout/face, and on the back and sides of the animal's body.

    Dark "point" coloration: Sus scrofa exhibit "points" (i.e., distal portions of the snout, ears, legs, and tail) that are dark brown to black in coloration, and lack light-colored tips on the bristles.

    Coat coloration: Sus scrofa exhibit a number of coat coloration patterns. Patterns most frequently observed among wild/feral/hybrid types are: wild/grizzled; solid black; solid red/brown; black and white spotted; black and red/brown spotted.

    Underfur: Sus scrofa exhibit the presence of underfur that is lighter in color (e.g., smoke gray to brown) than the overlying dark brown to black bristles/guard hairs.

    Juvenile coat pattern: Juvenile Sus scrofa exhibit striped coat patterns. This consists of a light grayish-tan to brown base coat, with a dark brown to black spinal stripe and three to four brown irregular longitudinal stripes with dark margins along the length of the body.

    Skeletal appearance: Sus scrofa skeletal structure is distinct. Structures include skull morphology, dorsal profile, and external body measurements including tail length, head-body length, hind foot length, ear length, snout length, and shoulder height.

    Tail structure: Sus scrofa exhibit straight tails. They contain the muscular structure to curl their tails if needed, but the tails are typically held straight. Hybrids of Sus scrofa exhibit either curly or straight tail structure.

    Ear structure: Sus scrofa exhibit erect ear structure. Hybrids of Sus scrofa exhibit either erect or folded/floppy ear structure.

    And for all the family farms who will suffer the loss of their livelihood, the DNR has no plans to help offset their troubles.  Golder continues, suggesting that they have been given "ample time" to adjust:
    "There is no provision in the law to offer compensation for lost animals. But again, we have tried to implement the order in a manner that minimizes the impact on individual businesses and gives swine owners ample time to adjust their business plans."

    Yeah, because any business owner knows, a fundemental change in operations only requires six months to a year.  Replacement of a substantial part of revenues is as simple as a stroke of a regulator's pen.

    How silly to think otherwise.

    As the Bakers will tell you, perhaps not.

    < Are You Freaking Kidding Me? | The $100 Project >

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    It's a good move (3.00 / 0) (#1)
    by InksLWC on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:42:34 PM EST
    Time and time again, we've seen how bringing in invasive species can be detrimental to the environment and potentially the economy.  Asian carp anyone?

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