DNR attacks family farms – Sample Letter to Governor Snyder
Below is a sample letter to send to Governor Snyder. Please feel free to put it in your own words. You can copy it to an email or print it. Thanks to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund for putting this together.
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.