LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Hunters have taken more feral swine in Michigan this year than in 2010.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that so far 42 of the hogs have been killed in 2011. Thirty-seven were killed last year.

Michigan laws now encourage hunters to shoot the hogs which root in the soil for food. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimates that 3,000 to 5,000 of the pigs are destroying farmland and natural areas.

The DNR has declared swine breeds such as Russian, Eurasian and razorback to be invasive species. They are bred and used for hunting purposes, but can destroy birds, wildlife and habitat.

The DNR said facilities where the animals are shot or bred must get rid of them by the end of March 2012. After April 1, state inspections are planned to ensure compliance.

A final count of wild hogs killed this year is expected to be released after Jan. 1.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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