Debbie Coffey      Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved.

“The words feral, non-native, and invasive species are now being slung around by government agencies like mud in a pig pen.” 

In what can only be described as a slaughter of private property rights along with the livelihoods of small farmers, the Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources declared that pigs with certain physical characteristics that are found on breeding or sporting facilities, are considered “invasive species” and need to be destroyed. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) won’t compensate facilities for their financial losses. If facility owners refuse to comply, the DNR will convict them of a felony.

Mark Baker, a pig farmer in Michigan, owns Bakers Green Acres. He served in the Air Force for 20 years. He has a family. And recently, he has been worried that a SWAT team will show up at his farm to kill all of his pigs and to arrest him as a felon. According to a recent article, Michigan State Sen. Darwin Booher “estimated close to 2,000 small farm operators could be put out of business as a result of the order.”
Michigan DNR seems to be making up its own definition of “invasive species.”

Senator Booher said DNR’s “…definition of an invasive (swine) species is not clear.” “For example, the order defines the ear structure of an invasive swine as both erect and floppy, depending on if the pig is a hybrid breed or not.”

Not only that, it seems that DNR’s definition is totally different from that of the National Invasive Species Council.

The Invasive Species Advisory Committee for the National Invasive Species Council clearly pointed out thatIt is also essential to recognize that invasive species are not those under human control or domestication, that is, invasive species are not those that humans depend upon for economic security, maintaining a desirable quality of life, or survival.” (The Invasive Species Definition Clarification and Guidance White Paper, April 2006)

In another article, DNR public information officer Ed Golder stated it already had searched six properties and that “The owners of those properties voluntarily submitted to the search.”
“Golder said voluntary searches will be the preferred method for enforcement of the Invasive Species Act” and “Instances in which the farm owner does not cooperate with the DNR will be handled on a ‘case-by-case basis’ by law enforcement.”

Exactly what about the threat of being convicted as a felon if you don’t submit and comply is “voluntary?”
DNR Director Rodney Stokes issued the Invasive Species Order.  This was not voted on by representatives of the people of Michigan. This was a declaration by a state agency Director.

The Michigan Pork Producers Association, which represents the large pig CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), (also known as “Big Pig”) is on the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Feral Swine Working Group, along with DNR. DNR’s plan will eliminate Michigan Pork Producers Association’s competition – Michigan’s small pig farmers. (So, whose little piggies will be going to market?)

More Hogwash

On the Michigan DNR’s website, when attempting to explain what it is doing about feral swine, it is stated that “The DNR has declared Sus Scrofa, one species of swine, an invasive species in Michigan. As such, possession of this species is now prohibited in Michigan. This was a move by Michigan DNR to join other states in the battle against feral swine, as well as to align with the National Invasive Species Laboratory’s stance on feral swine.” (emphasis mine)

There’s just one thing!

 There is no “National Invasive Species Laboratory.”

(Try to look it up on the internet.) So, what is DNR aligning itself with?

USDA’s Invasive Species Council

The Forest Service is on the USDA’s Invasive Species Council, and issued a report about Invasive Species titled “Addressing the Four Threats in an International Context,” which states “While the U.S. is not party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), forest service experts participate in invasive species working groups sponsored by the CBD to share information and establish guidelines for border control, mitigation, and management.”

Does this vague supposed difference between “party to” and “participate” seem a little loosey goosey to you? (The Convention on Biological Diversity is a United Nations treaty that our U.S. Senate didn’t ratify, so it seems like U.S. government agencies shouldn’t be a “party to” participating in these “working groups.”)
This report also states: “The Forest Service is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international partnership of government agencies and non-governmental organizations interested in nature conservation. The IUCN hosts the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG).” The ISSG manages the GLOBAL Invasive Species Database.

On the IUCN website, it states:IUCN links its Mission to the paramount goals of the international community on environment and sustainable development, in particular Agenda 21…” And, the OBJECTIVE of the United Nations Agenda 21 is “the encouragement of communally and collectively owned and managed land.”

As an interesting side note for those of you wanting to hang onto your private property rights, Michigan’s Department of Agriculture & Rural Development still has Premises Registration on its website. In international law books, premises is not property. This seems similar to the Premises ID of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), which, after much public outcry, is now being pushed under a new name – Animal Disease Traceability (ADT).

The 2012 International Wild Pig Conference

On April 15-18, 2012, the International Wild Pig Conference will take place in San Antonio, TX. This seems to be organized by Mississippi State University and its Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Sponsors of this research center include Texas A&M University (they cloned pigs years ago) and U.C. Davis (California), also cloning animals.

Sponsors also include Dupont, Sygenta and ArborGen LLC. In 2010, the USDA gave ArborGen permits to plant over 200,000 genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees on 28 secret sites in 7 southern states. Eucalyptus trees are wildly invasive, spread into native ecosystems and displace wildlife. Additionally, the oil in these eucalyptus trees is extremely flammable.

Seems the USDA is a little sketchy when it decides which “invasive species” to get rid of, and which ones to promote.

Some Background on “Invasive Species”

The National Invasive Species Council, which includes the USDA, was established in 1999 when President Clinton signed Executive Order 13112. This order specifically stated that “Only a small proportion of non-native species are invasive.”

The Invasive Species Council is co-chaired by the Secretary of Interior (Ken Salazar), Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack) and Secretary of Commerce (John Bryson) and includes Secretaries of Defense, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, State, Transportation, Treasury, US. Trade Representative, EPA, USAID and NASA.

Many of these agencies are also on the Rural Council.
The Invasive Species Advisory Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and include non-federal “experts” and “stakeholders.”

The USDA has been promoting cloned animals for years. If all of the “real” animals are removed and replaced with cloned ones, whatever companies own the patents will not only become rich, but will control food.

Invasive? Non-native? Feral?

The words feral, non-native, and invasive species are now being slung around by government agencies like mud in a pig pen.

It’s important for ranchers and farmers to pay attention to these words. The Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website states that even cows and horses are examples of “invasive species.”

Mark Baker said “The order they gave to depopulate our herd is unconstitutional. Today it’s pigs – what species is going to be next?” (
Please keep an eye on what is happening to Mark Baker and the other pig farmers in Michigan and support them.

(The Invasive Species Definition Clarification and Guidance White Paper, April 2006).
Author’s note: Thank you to researcher Diana Hunter for her contributions to the background section regarding the Invasive Species Council and Advisory Committee.