Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Courts Go Hog Wild in Michigan

State stacks the deck against heritage hog farmer Mark Baker

Sara Burrows
Activist Post

Heritage hog farmer Mark Baker sued the State of Michigan when its Department of Natural Resources arbitrarily ordered him to kill his pigs in late 2011.

After two years of stalling, the state now has moved his trial from his home county to the state capital, where a panel of four appellate judges – hand-selected by the state – will hear his case.

The Department of Natural Resources declared Baker’s pasture-raised pigs to be an invasive species of wild boar essentially because they were raised outdoors rather than in a confinement animal feeding operation.

The agency ordered him to destroy the animals, but he refused and sued for relief. The state has played every trick in the book to delay his legal challenge, while piling nearly a million dollars in fines on him.