Pion believes swine are fine

Published 8:01 am Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A dispute regarding pigs was brought to Albemarle City Council’s attention Monday night.

Sarah Pion owns a small potbelly pig named Pua and asked the council to amend ordinance 81.06, which states it’s unlawful for any person within the city limits to maintain swine.

She wanted pot-bellied pigs that are around 100 pounds to be differentiated from the 500- and 600-pound livestock pigs.

The pigs can be trained like dogs or cats to stay in the house, Pion said.

In an online letter addressed to the council, Pion made her case that indoor pigs bond with humans and small pets and they are clean. They are also intelligent, she wrote, and can be trained to use the bathroom or a litter pan.

Pion has owned Pua, who is 10 months old, since July. She enjoys cuddling with him and often will lay on him like a pillow.

Outside a farm setting, she wrote pigs are rarely aggressive.

If smaller pigs are allowed to be permitted within the city, she wrote that there should be restrictions, including one potbelly pig per household, the pigs should be castrated and have annual rabies vaccines and outdoor enclosures must be clean and sanitary.

The council decided to review rules and ordinances other nearby towns have created when faced with similar situations. The staff will come back to the council with a recommendation at a later date.

The next council meeting will be on March 18.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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