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Published: Friday, 4/12/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Native farmer challenges Michigan's exotic hog ban

Lawsuit says state order banning exotic hogs in Michigan violates UP farm's treaty rights

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this April 18, 2012, photo a Mangalitsa boar searches for food on a farm owned by Mark Baker near McBain, Mich. Michigan's effort to wipe out exotic hogs is causing a backlash among farmers and hunting ranch operators that raise them. Michigan officials believe up to 3,000 feral swine are loose in the state. In this April 18, 2012, photo a Mangalitsa boar searches for food on a farm owned by Mark Baker near McBain, Mich. Michigan's effort to wipe out exotic hogs is causing a backlash among farmers and hunting ranch operators that raise them. Michigan officials believe up to 3,000 feral swine are loose in the state.
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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — An American Indian farmer is suing the state of Michigan over its ban of exotic hogs that it says are escaping from hunting preserves and causing environmental damage.

Brenda Turunen is a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and has farmed for 23 years near the reservation in Baraga County. She and her husband say they’ve developed a breed of swine called the “Hogan hog” that can withstand harsh Upper Peninsula weather.

It resembles Eurasian boars that are among types targeted by the state.

A federal suit filed this week says the Department of Natural Resources has no authority to regulate tribal farmers under a 19th-century treaty. It seeks an order to stop what it says is DNR harassment of the Turunen operation.

The DNR declined to comment.



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