MARQUETTE – A hearing was held Monday in Marquette County Circuit Court concerning the state’s listing of certain pigs as invasive species.
The hearing combined challenges from pig farmers Roger and Brenda Turunen of Baraga County, game ranch owner Greg Johnson of Marquette County and pig pet owner Matthew Tingstad of Gogebic County. Judge Thomas Solka is expected to issue a ruling in 30 days.
The Department of Natural Resources in 2011 declared pigs such as the Russian Boar to be illegal in Michigan to combat a problem with feral swine. The order includes a $10-thousand fine for each illegal pig.
As pig farmers, the Turunens face a potential $10-million fine. They typically raise up to 1-thousand heritage pigs called Hogan Hogs on their 119-acre farm. An injunction currently allows the farm to continue to operate.