Porky pet prompts debate

Vernon city council has saved the bacon of one local pet owner by allowing her to keep her potbellied pig.

Brenda Quint approached council earlier this year looking for permission to keep her pet pig following a complaint from a neighbour.

Under city bylaws, no farm animals – except chickens – are allowed to live in urban areas, but Quint's pet porker is safe after council debated the issue and decided the pig can stay.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham said bylaw complaints should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, and in this case the pig should be allowed to stay in the city.

Coun. Scott Anderson agreed saying he has done research on potbellied pigs and does not see a lot of difference between them and dogs.

Anderson said the main complaint the city has received about the portly porker is its size and smell, but he noted some dog breeds can get larger than a 100-pound pig and can also have an aroma.

“There are some big dogs out there. They can grow to more than 150 pounds,” said Anderson. “The argument against them (pigs) don't seem to wash too well.”

Anderson said if the city allows Lamont to keep her pet, it does not mean people will be bringing home lions or other such animals as pets.

“I'm certainly in support of letting these people keep their pet,” he said, but added it does not mean there will be pig farms in the middle of the city.

Coun. Brian Quiring was not so fond of the pig proposal.

“I don't want to see a 200-pound pig walking around my neighbourhood,” said Quiring. “We have bylaws for a reason. It's crazy to think we can allow a pig to walk around somebodies front yard oinking and snorting.”

Counc. Bob Spears said the city is aware of three other pigs in the area and was wondering what would happen to them.

“It's a case-by-case basis,” said Cunningham. “We allow six chickens and I think pigs are cuter than chickens.”

Mayor Akbal Mund also had some reservations about the pet porker, wondering if allowing the pig will open the city up to other farm animals.

“This opens it up for everybody else and we may be inundated,” said Mund.

Council agreed to allow the pig to remain by a 4-3 vote.


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