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Fri September 10, 2010
Feral swine work group bores down on compromise
By Rick Pluta
Lansing, MI – A work group made up of hog farmers, owners of hunting ranches, and environmental regulators met for the first time Friday to start developing a plan to deal with the problem of feral swine. Controlling feral swine is an intensely political issue in a state where hunting and livestock farming are huge.
Wild pigs reproduce prolifically and destroy farmland and environmentally sensitive areas. They carry diseases that infect domestic livestock. And they attack other wildlife.
Some environmental groups want feral swine declared an invasive species that needs to be eradicated. That would basically shut down boar-hunting ranches and would also effect hog farms. Mary Dettloff of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment says the group is looking for a less-drastic approach.
Dettloff says, "Michigan right now stands at a crossroads. We can attack this problem right now and get a good handle on it, or we can let it continue and get out of control."
Dettloff says wild hogs have been sighted in almost every county in Michigan.
The group is trying to come up with recommendations to present to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission at its November meeting.