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Circuit Judge Solka to hear arguments on exotic swine ban

October 15, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer and The Associated Press ( , The Associated Press

MARQUETTE - Producers of exotic swine breeds want a Marquette County Circuit Court judge to overturn an order from the state to get rid of the animals.

Five lawsuits against the state law have been filed by farms and game ranches. Marquette County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Solka was scheduled to hear arguments today on their motion to declare the order unconstitutional. If Solka rejects the motion, the cases will return to local courts for trial.

The case is Gregory Johnson, Bear Mountain LLC, versus the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and former DNR Director Rodney Stokes. The additional plaintiffs in the case were not available from court staff this morning prior to the hearing.

Article Photos

Feral hogs are shown at a ranch. (AP photo by John Flesher)

Johnson's Bear Mountain Lodge is a hunting preserve located off Marquette County Road 480.

The DNR declared the swine an invasive species a year ago and made it illegal to possess them in Michigan. At that time, Stokes was the DNR director. The ban applies to Eurasian, Russian and razorback boars and similar breeds including hybrids, although opponents say it's unclear which varieties are covered.

Regulators say thousands of feral hogs roam the state, damaging the environment and crops. Producers say that's an exaggeration.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.



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