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Feral Pig Farmer's Lawsuit Against the DNR Dismissed: 'The Judge Let Me Down Today


"I'm not sure we settled anything at all."

A Michigan farmer's lawsuit against the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment to keep his breeding program of so-called "feral" pigs was dismissed by a judge this week, disappointing the farmer.

Photo credit: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

The issue goes back to a 2010 order passed by the DNR to not only ban but kill pigs with certain physical characteristics that classified them as non-native or "feral." Certain breeds of pigs are considered to be invasive and have been cited for harming the environment and concerning some about safety.

Some ranchers who kept these pigs for food or sport hunting argued that the DNR's ban is arbitrary, unconstitutional and harming their livelihood.

Mark Baker, owner of Baker's Green Acres in Marion, Mich., was one of the farmers served a warrant by the DNR in 2012 to search his property for the offending breed once the ban was in enacted. Since then, he's been fighting the order in court.

On Wednesday, Missaukee County Circuit Court Judge William Fagerman ruled to dismiss both Baker's lawsuit against the DNR and the $700,000 fine held against him.

According to Cadillac News, the DNR filed the motion for the case dismissal because it found Baker didn't own Russian boar, one of the banned breeds, anymore and was therefore not in violation.

But Baker thinks there are still questions left unanswered. Since Baker still has some pigs of a different, hybrid breed that are considered invasive under the order, his lawyer, Freda Michelle Halley, thinks the judge needs to clarify.

"There are lingering factual issues with the declaratory ruling," the attorney told Cadillac News. "I'm not sure we settled anything at all."

"The judge let me down today, big time," Baker told the Kalamazoo Gazette.

"Ed Golder is happy because he doesn't have to explain that he is defending the illegal actions by his government," he added, explaining that he thinks a trial would expose the confusing measures in the order.

On The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson on TheBlaze Radio, Baker said Wednesday he wanted clarification because the characteristics of banned pigs are things like "straight tails, curly tails, erect ears, floppy ears, a black pig, a red pig, things like that."

"They seemed really nebulous and encompassed every pig that we ever saw," he continued. "They refused to clarify what the law said. They just said, 'no, get rid of your pigs.' And we sued for clarification just to stop the process."

Baker is, however, pleased to be "back in business" for now.

As a next step, Baker is going to court for damages.

Featured image via Shutterstock.

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