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Court of Appeals upholds Michigan ban on wild boar

Photo by Peter Payette.
Peter Payette
Photo by Peter Payette.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld the state’s ban on Russian boar and other breeds of exotic swine.

Michigan banned several strains of boar as invasive species because they breed prolifically, endanger other wildlife, and ruin woods and farmland.

An Upper Peninsula hunting ranch sued, saying the state got it wrong – that the law is impossible to enforce because there’s little to no difference between strains of swine, especially when they escape into the wild.

But the appeals court said the threat appears to be real, and while the state’s system may not be perfect, it is possible to tell the difference between breeds of swine, so the law can be enforced.  

“This decision provides important protections for natural and agricultural resources in Michigan,” DNR Director Keith Creagh said in press release. “The ruling provides additional clarity around this issue and is a strong affirmation of DNR policies intended to protect the state’s forests, fields and farms from this invasive species.” 

The case now goes back to the circuit court for further arguments. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.