Once again the state and federal governments are finding ways to mess with the individual, small family farmer, or preparedness minded individual.
I am supposed to put an identification number on all sheep that I sell just in case any have a disease that is nonexistent! I am supposed to keep track of the person I sell the sheep to by holding on to my files for at least 5 years...just in case the government wants to track down my sheep. Again, for a nonexistent disease.
Just last month I was offered an above ground swimming pool from a coworker. I was really excited about this because I plan on raising talapia for our own consumption. I don't plan on raising a lot of fish but if we could get a "crop" of a few fish per week on average that's all I want. Raising the fish in my backyard means there is no way for the fish to escape the "pond" and spread into the California waterways. My fish pond swimming pool is not attached to any creek. In fact, the nearest creek is 1/2 mile away. My biggest worry will be the dogs wanting to jump into the pool to swim. Nevertheless, raising backyard talapia without a permit from the state's Department of Fish and Game is illegal. I don't know if it's a felony or a misdemeanor, all I know is without the permit I'll be breaking the law. Why? Because I'm not in Southern California. There, it's legal.
Today I learned that the state of Michigan has a new law coming into effect on April 1. This law pretty much outlaws pig farming if the pigs are allowed out in the pasture. Why? Because the state has said that over a 30 year period, from 1971 to 2011 340 feral pigs have been reported to have been sighted. Of those reports 286 were reported seen and killed! This means about 55 pigs have been seen and may still be running around. Who knows, some of those 55 may have been seen a second time and were killed. Well, with 55 supposedly live feral pigs running around the state, Michigan has determined that there really could be between 1000-3000 feral pigs. They want to put a stop to the feral pig explosion. Remember, the report has been 55 although it could be less.
Now I do understand pigs and if they escape they can revert back to feral in just one generation. It's an amazing fact. But making the leap from free ranging your pigs on your own property to them being feral and destroying the state is a bit far fetched, don't you think? But I have a better idea. Instead of outlawing the responsible farmers who have their pigs fenced, how about encouraging the shoot to kill if you see a pig running around on on the road or on your property and it's not your pig? Of course, you could always call up your neighbor and tell him the pig is out. Sort of like when three sheep jumped the fence down the road from me. I just let the neighbor know.
More shocking to me was the other fact I learned today. I suppose it's more shocking because again, like the talapia rules of stupidity, the Mallard duck federal rules of stupidity will affect me. We have the 20 duck eggs in the incubator. It's day number 4 of incubation. Only 24 more days until the ducklings peck their way out. So what did I learn today about ducks? I don't have to have a permit to own or sell Mallards. But any Mallard ducklings that I hatch are required to be identified according to US Fish and Game regulations!!! I suppose I could tattoo them or band their legs (I'd have to have different sets of bands depending on their age). One hatchery removes a back toe when they hatch. Perhaps I can spray paint them with some durable paint. Why do they have to be able to be identified? So the US Fish and Game will know that your flock were not "kidnapped" out of a local pond. Unbelievable!