A group known as Agricultural Leaders of Michigan (ALM) says Michigan lawmakers can protect Michigan’s pork industry and agriculture as a whole – plus thousands of local jobs – by allowing to stand, a state order that declares feral swine an invasive species.

Feral swine are defined as free-ranging populations of wild pigs not owned by any person that carry numerous diseases, are highly destructive to farms and property, travel in packs and can endanger people.

“Feral swine are a serious threat to Michigan’s economy, local jobs and public health and safety. They must be eliminated before they become an irreversible epidemic. The best way to achieve this goal is by fully upholding the state order declaring feral swine an invasive species and allowing it to go into effect,” ALM said in a letter delivered to state legislators Wednesday.

The letter said legislators should not do anything to attempt to “regulate” these animals.

“Feral swine and the dangerous diseases they spread threaten Michigan’s pork industry, businesses that depend on the pork sector and Michigan’s economy as a whole,” says David Armstrong, CEO of GreenStone Farm Credit Services, the nation’s sixth-largest association in the Farm Credit System. “Stopping feral swine is essential to protecting Michigan’s $71.3-billion agriculture sector and the more than a million local jobs we create.”

“Feral swine are a problem that puts Michigan agriculture, businesses and jobs at risk and it must be addressed now,” says Jim Byrum, president of MABA, which represents more than 400 agricultural businesses. “The legislature must do the right thing, and that means allowing the order designating feral swine an invasive species to stand. We must confront the feral swine epidemic with the same seriousness we confront every other invasive species that puts our state at risk.”