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Owning Pigs a Felony in Michigan? Big Ag-Inspired Law Targets Small Farms

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Factory Farming & Food Safety page, Breaking The Chains page, and our Michigan News page.

The mangalitsa pig is different than other pigs.  For one thing, it's covered in thick wool, like a sheep.  It's got upright ears, and a flat tail.  The farmers at Michigan's Baker's Green Acres are fond of the pig.  The thick fur protects them from harsh Michigan winters, and their status as a 'lard' pig means that customers prize their marbled meat. They grunt, they eat, and they care for their young just like any other domesticated swine.  In short, they're just regular pigs - that happen to have black fur.   

To Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the black-furred pigs are a threat that must be eliminated.  A law passed in 2010, set to go into effect on April 1, 2012, outlaws the mangalitsa, and many other pigs that don't fall within their guidelines: 

 "Possession of the following live species, including a hybrid or genetic variant of the species, and/or offspring of the species or of a hybrid or genetically engineered variant, is prohibited:

 (b) Wild boar, wild hog, wild swine, feral pig, feral hog, feral swine, Old world swine, razorback, eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus). This subsection does not and is not intended to affect sus domestica involved in domestic hog production."
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