June 23, 2015 - 10:30 AM
VERNON - This little piggy wants to stay home, but a little known Vernon bylaw stands in the way.
In the hope of keeping their pet pig Felix, a local family is asking Vernon council for a variance to the Animal Regulation and Animal Pound Bylaw, which states swine cannot be kept within the city, unless on designated farmland. The bylaw also says non-companion animals — anything other than cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, rodents and reptiles — are prohibited.
Even Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund agrees the request was an unusual one. He says the trouble is if council allows one animal, it will set a precedent for others.
“So next week someone comes to us and says they want to keep a lion in their backyard, what do you say?” he says.
The city changed the bylaw some time ago to allow backyard chickens, but Mund isn’t sure the same would be done for pigs. It's something council will discuss at an upcoming meeting.
In a letter to council, owner Brenda Quint implored council to let her keep Felix, the family’s pet pig.
“Felix is a companion, best friend and most importantly, a member of our family,” she said.
Over 70 people signed a petition saying Felix is a companion, not a farm animal, and should be allowed to stay. One can assume other pigs are being kept as pets within the city, but this case wound up before council due to a complaint. Vernon bylaw compliance manager Clint Kanester confirms the city received a complaint, and upon investigation determined there was a pig on the residential property, in contravention with the animal regulation bylaw.
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— This story was edited at 2:10 p.m. June 24, 2015 to say the Vernon bylaw department received a complaint about the pig and to remove a sentence regarding a neighbour.
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