[ Health Impact News] The DNR has carried out raids against at least two family farms in Michigan that raise heritage free range hogs, reports Mark Baker from Baker’s Green Acres. To read the background on this story, please read the write up by Attorney Pete Kennedy of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund here. Below is a report from Jill with quotes from one of the emails they received from one of the farmers that killed off their entire herd of swine to comply with the DNR and avoid being arrested as a felon. A video report from Mark is also included. Below Jill’s blog update, we have also published Alliance for Natural Health’s Action Alert on this situation.
by Jill Baker
Wanted to share an e-mail from one of the farmers who was raided on Friday. Note at the end of his message what the DNR observed about his facility.
Subject: search warrant
I was served a search warrant yesterday at 7: 45am.
After 8 guys 3 four wheelers, and 4 hours, DNR decided I was correct. I have killed all my hogs. They gave me papers that say I do not have any hogs on my property. All they saw were dead hogs laying around from my mass slaughtering. It took 12 guys 4 times in there to kill all of them, sows with young, Pregnant sows, dozens of piglets, and old mature boars. It has been a sad few weeks.
Does anyone know what it feels like to open fire on 20 baby piglets in one group which weigh between 5lbs and 15 lbs. They are so adorable and cute.
They commented to everyone that they never saw a fence built so tough and no way would a hog get out of this area. I trenched 2′ then installed chain link fencing, then a 10′ high tightlock fence on top of that. ( 200 acre area) They never saw a fence like that.
deer tracks ranch
Another farmer, Ron McKendrick, was raided on Saturday, ending a two week event in which his place was staked out for three days, his customers were “interviewed” by armed officers, and his meat processor was so intimidated she won’t take his hogs but fears her business will suffer greatly due to the loss of business. Even though he’s in Detroit working while a hired man runs his facility, he had a restraining order issued against him and faced a suit for not obeying the ISO–however, by the time of the raid on Saturday, he’d never received any paperwork informing him of those two pieces of court action. He faces a hearing in Cheboygan on Friday, April 20th. If you’re in the area, feel free to attend.
This is an e-mail from our lawyer, commenting on a release from the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
The mindset of the MUCC is frightening. The MUCC cynically spouts the DNR B.S. and asserts that most people have already knuckled under to government pressure and they “will deal with the most difficult folks through the court system as needed.” Anyone ever read “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”? A certain fellow named Hitler espoused the same rationale for dealing with “enemies of the Reich”. His strategy was to use spiritual and physical intimidation by spreading lies and falsehoods designed to make the public believe that a certain situation exists and to vilify anyone who would question the existence of the falsehoods. That form of pressure works on 90% of the people who back down and go away. Then the machinery of government is used to to finish off those who are still standing. Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it!
This weekend we should all remember another fellow who 2000 years ago faced precisely these tactics and didn’t back down. He stood tall in the face of lies and misinformation and bore the full brunt of the machinery of the greatest government the world had ever seen. Despite that, his message lives on while the government he faced has long since crumbled into ruin. Truth will always win in the end.
Have a blessed and Happy Easter everyone.
Two stories about how the government is dealing “with the most difficult folks through the court system as needed.” (quote from the MUCC release). If you’ve supported us in any way, you can be proud to be part of the 10% who resist falsehood and empty assurances of safety. Thanks for standing, and keep up the good work!
Read the Full Blog Post and comment here: http://vbs20.com/bakers/?p=1573
Remember the Old Phrase “Buying a Pig in a Poke”?
That’s when something is presented in a way that conceals its true nature—which is the case right now in Michigan. Action Alert!
In 2010, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issued an Invasive Species Order (ISO), ostensibly to “help stop the spread of feral swine and the disease risk they pose to humans, domestic pigs, and wildlife as well as their potential for extensive agricultural and ecosystem damage.” So far, it sounds OK. But the swine in question are identified by such ubiquitous characteristics (mainly hair color) that most any open-range pigs, especially heritage or “old world” breeds—often being raised on small family farms—will now be defined as illegal “invasive species” and thus unjustly threatened with eradication. The order went into effect April 1, 2012.
Possession of these animals carries up to a two-year jail sentence and $20,000 in fines. Moreover, the ISO allows the DNR to seize and destroy heritage breeds of pigs raised by Michigan farmers on the spot—and without compensation. So far, the Michigan DNR has conducted two armed raids on pig farmers in that state, one in Kalkaska County at Fife Lake and another in Cheboygan County. The raids involved six vehicles and ten armed men.
Because the ISO deems farmers who raise these pigs to be felons, DNR officials were ready to make arrests on the scene and prosecute them. Mike Adams reports that one farmer, upon being served with a search warrant, heart-wrenchingly shot all his own pigs (including pregnant sows and dozens of piglets) to avoid being arrested as a felon. His livelihood has now been destroyed, but the DNR was satisfied and made no arrests.
This ISO is a blatant attempt to take away property rights, freedom of food choice, and market share through the force of law. What’s really behind it?
These are the very pigs that farmers and ranchers in Michigan have been raising for decades; there are indications that this ISO may have been nudged into position by the conventional pork industry as a tactic to wipe out competition from the local, specialty ranchers and farmers who don’t work for the Michigan Pork Growers’ Association. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund sees it as an attack on the local food movement and a brazen power grab that threatens the livelihood of small farmers across the state. A video created by a family farmer clearly explains the issue.
This is, however, part of a much bigger problem. Right now you get paid less for beef cows if they are the “wrong” color. Generally feeder cattle that are uniform in color, regardless of what color, will sell for a higher price than those that are less uniform in color. (More information about the economics of cattle color can be found here.) But heritage-breed cows, a vital pool of genetic diversity, are almost always “the wrong color.” If cows are bred for one color, you lose a lot more than other colors. You lose a great deal of genetic diversity which could prove to be very important for the future.
A standardized color is only obtained with an engineered animal. If you control for color, you lose genetic diversity and are left only with “engineered” animals. It is, of course, much easier for Big Farma to create monopolies from engineered animals.
You can see the parallels with seeds, crops, and vegetables. Just as we need seed banks, we need gene banks so that the heritage pig genes aren’t lost. If they outlaw pigs that are of a nonstandard color, why not outlaw all nonstandard animals to further the interests of agribusiness? The UN warned of this possibility in 2006: around 20% of domestic animal breeds are at risk of extinction, with a breed lost each month, due to a globalization of livestock markets that favors high-output breeds over a multiple-gene pool. Having that pool could be vital for future food security.
So this isn’t just about Michigan pigs. This is about stopping agribusiness from enlisting the powers of government to control gene pools before it is too late.
If you are a resident of Michigan, please contact Gov. Rick Snyder and your Michigan legislators and tell them you want the DNR to repeal its Invasive Species Order and support the heritage breeds of pigs being raised by small farmers. Please take action immediately!
Read the Full Article Here and Comment Here: http://www.anh-usa.org/buying-a-pig-in-a-poke/
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