TIMELINE OF THE SWINE SAGA
This is intended to give readers a timeline view of the policy debate in Michigan on the feral swine issue over the last 5 years, complete with links where available. It’s called sausage-making for a reason. And the rest is history.
- April 12, 2007—The Michigan Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan Commission of Agriculture adopted a joint resolution on feral swine that called for the depopulation of swine “from all Michigan Privately Owned Cervid (POC) ranches, game ranches, wild game breeding facilities, and other enclosed hunting ranches.”
- May 2008—Michigan Dept. of Agriculture confirms that 19 “sport swine” on a privately owned cervid hunting facility were infected with pseudorabies virus (PRV)
- June 11, 2008—A request for $415,000 in additional general fund dollars to allow MDA to depopulate, dispose of, and indemnify the owners for the diseased swine at 5 game ranches.
- July 23, 2008—Legislative bills first introduced to implement the above joint resolution, HB 6338 of 2008 would have allowed shooting feral swine on sight (passed the House 103-1 but killed in the Senate); HB 6339 of 2008 would have prohibited the possession, ownership, or transport of swine for the purposes of confined shooting operations (killed in House Committee).
- September 21, 2009–Legislation goes into effect that granted the NRC and Agriculture Commission authority to add and delete from the prohibited and restricted species lists. This authority was later transferred to the corresponding state department due to the Executive Orders reorganizing the departments.
- May 13, 2010—SB 1138 of 2010 was signed into law, declares “Swine running at large are a public nuisance.” HB 5822 and 5823 also signed to allow feral swine to be shot on sight.
- August 12, 2010—Another joint meeting of the NRC and Commission of Agriculture to continue the feral swine debate, the DNR proposes an Invasive Species Order to prohibit the possession of wild hogs.
- August 19, 2010—House Bills 6384, 6385, and 6386of 2010 were introduced, led by now Speaker Jase Bolger to attempt to regulate the sporting swine industry. No action was taken and bills died in committee
- December 9, 2010—then DNR Director Rebecca Humphries signed the Invasive Species Order.
- As you can see from the minutes of the meeting, she noted that “she met with Representative Bolger, and they agreed that feral swine need to be regulated in this state. Rep. Bolger is willing to move legislation forward and feels that by the time the Legislature recesses next summer will be an adequate time to move forward with regulations – a new law. The Director has asked staff to modify the order to make it effective beginning July 8, 2011. That gives the Legislature time to enact the regulations….The order is being kept in place so that if the Legislature fails to act, the order will go into effect that day. If the Legislature does act and adequately does address the issue, the new director will need to rescind the order and look at ways to modify it.”
- March 24, 2011—more legislative bills introduced. The Senate package included SB 208 and SBs 307-310 led by Sen. Joe Hune, while the House Package included HB 4503-4507 and HB 4699 led by Rep. Ed McBroom.
- June 30, 2011—after months of debate, the amended House package (minus HB 4507 which would transfer the program to MDA from DNR) passed the House roughly 61-47. It has stalled in the Senate ever since, where there was no consensus to move them.
- October 8, 2011—the Invasive Species Order becomes effective
- December 13, 2011—DNR issues a Declaratory Ruling in response to the Michigan Animal Farmers Association request to determine how the DNR would determine what swine fell under the ISO.
- March 8, 2012—DNR clarifies that the ISO was not intended to apply to purebred magnalitsas, a specialty meat pig.
- April 1, 2012—the Invasive Species Order will be enforced
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