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Judge sides with Michigan farmer battling state over swine

BARAGA, Mich. (AP) — A judge has sided with a farmer in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula who has battled state regulators for seven years over the pigs he raises.

Circuit Judge Charles Goodman ruled Thursday the Department of Natural Resources had failed to prove that Roger Turunen’s pigs were covered by a 2010 order banning Eurasian boars and other exotic swine.

The DNR says the sharp-tusked animals are escaping from farms and hunting ranches and damaging crops and the environment.

Turunen contends his Baraga County hogs are not Russian boars, but domestic animals derived from heritage breeds.

Goodman ruled the DNR failed to show what characteristics made Turunen’s pigs illegal and that the invasive species order was vague.

DNR spokesman Ed Golder declined comment Friday, saying the department had not yet received the judge’s order.

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