Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) today urged Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) Director Rebecca Humphries to add wild boar to Michigan’s prohibited invasive species list unless a strong regulatory framework recommended by a stakeholder workgroup is enacted by the Michigan Legislature by July of 2011.
Today Humphries re-visits an invasive species order originally presented back in August that would list wild boar as an invasive prohibited species in Michigan. After pleas from swine shooting and breeding facilities to regulate the industry cited for Michigan’s wild boar problem as an alternative, MUCC joined with representatives of those facilities along with representatives of the agriculture and conservation communities to draft regulations that would allow wild boar shooting and breeding facilities to stay in business so long as existing facilities were required to comply with certain containment, biosecurity, and inventory tracking regulations and a moratorium was placed on new facilities. Additionally, most groups including the boar shooting and breeding facilities suggested that a fee structure should be developed to support the full regulatory costs associated with the shooting/breeding swine industry. MUCC especially supported this recommendation to ensure that sportsmen and limited General Fund dollars are not diverted to regulate the industry.
MUCC Executive Director Erin McDonough said that the proposed invasive species order would not go into effect until July 8, 2011 in order to allow the legislature to enact strong regulatory protections based on the workgroup’s recommendations as an alternative. To ensure Michigan has the tools available to “turn off the faucet” of invasive wild boar, McDonough cautioned signing the order without a clearer understanding that wild boar will become a prohibited invasive species on July 8, 2011 unless the workgroup’s recommended regulations are put into place and fully funded without the use of hunter/angler license fees or limited DNR General Fund dollars.
“Wild boar are like four legged Asian carp that are already established in Michigan, said McDonough.” “MUCC has already stated that these invasive, destructive animals must be either prohibited or regulated comprehensively to protect our wildlife and biosecurity. We’ve sat at the table with our friends in the agriculture industry as well as the boar shooting and breeding facilities to figure out a regulatory solution that will work and all agree that the industry should support these regulations, not sportsmen or other protected funds. While MUCC is supportive of the order, it should be clear that wild boar will be listed as a prohibited invasive species absent all regulatory measures recommended by the workgroup.
“MUCC is looking forward to working with our new and returning lawmakers to enact the regulatory program put forth by members of the swine shooting and breeding facilities and other agriculture and conservation stakeholders. While prohibiting wild boar in Michigan altogether through the proposed order is a more aggressive way to protect Michigan’s wildlife and agriculture, MUCC will continue to work towards a regulatory solution so long as it provides adequate protections and funding. If the legislature is unable to enact a 100 percent industry funded regulatory program consistent with the Swine Biosecurity Workgroup’s recommendations by July 8, we will welcome the necessary alternative in prohibiting wild boar as an invasive species in Michigan.”
Contact: Erin McDonough (517) 775-9500
Dave Nyberg – (517) 230-1738