Michigan has enacted laws declaring feral swine as an invasive species. The decision targets the estimated 5,000 feral swine in the state.
However, putting this law into effect has been delayed once again to accommodate canned hunt ranches. Legislature is trying to decide on regulations that will allow the invasive feral swine to still be owned by private breeding and hunting facilities.
While occasional escapes from farms occur, the majority of the feral swine population comes from canned hunt ranches. To quote a Michigan DNRE press release: “The DNRE estimates that there are at least 65 swine hunting or breeding facilities in the state, and that a vast majority of the feral swine running at large in Michigan are animals that have escaped from hunting or breeding facilities.”
Eurasian and Russian wild boars are favored by hunting ranches for their size and the challenge of the hunt. Yet these non-native species are capable of weighing up to 500 pounds and cause considerable property and crop damage. The estimated damage in the U.S. is cited as a conservative $1.5 billion.
Regulating breeding and hunting facilities now is a solution that is too little too late. A complete ban on invasive, feral swine in Michigan is needed now.