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      Judge rules swine ban unconstitutional

      A circuit judge has ruled that a Michigan ban on certain types of exotic swine breeds is unconstitutional.

      In an opinion released Monday, Judge Thomas Solka of Marquette County sided with three Upper Peninsula operations that challenged an order issued in 2010 designating the swine as invasive species that would be off-limits in the state.

      The order by the Department of Natural Resources targets animals commonly known as wild boars, Eurasian or Russian wild boar and razorback hogs.

      Before it was issued, dozens of farms and hunting ranches across the state kept those types of swine. The DNR says they've been escaping into the wild and damaging the environment and crops.

      Solka's ruling says the order is arbitrary, unreasonable and denies the hog owners equal protection under the law.