March 19, 2015 - 7:29 PM
KAMLOOPS – If pigs could fly, a 77-year-old farmer and his neighbours probably wouldn't be in the predicament that landed them in Kamloops Provincial Court this month.
Pig farmer Paul Peter Sabyan received numerous complaints from neighbours about his livestock breaking its barrier and destroying land adjacent to his Louis Creek property, south of Barriere.
Outside of court on Thursday, March 19, Sabyan's neighbours said the area had been nicknamed 'Pig Valley' because he never fixed the fence and the pigs continually caused damage. While the pigs searched for food, the destruction varied from dug up flower beds, to dug up septic tanks and ripped up land, said neighbour Norm Heppner.
“We’re at the rope’s end,” he said. “I just chased 20 of them the other day.”
Beyond Heppner and his wife Edith chasing the pigs, they and other neighbours regularly call the RCMP to round the animals up away from the nearby Yellowhead Highway, Heppner said. Hearing brakes from vehicles screeching to avoid pigs on the road is a regular occurence, he added, and his wife noted a few animals wound up on nearby train tracks where they were killed.
The couple and two other neighbours waited the four-hour delay in court to hear - and take notes on - Judge Len Marchand's decision, which they said was unsatisfactory.
Marchand handed Sabyan a $500 fine, a one-year probation order and told him to have his fence repaired by next month.
Charges were laid against Sabyan in 2013 after the RCMP received multiple nuisance complaints. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to one charge of having his livestock at large and a separate charge for having livestock on the highway.
“I am guilty that the pigs got out because they are my pigs,” he said during his sentence hearing today.
Marchand noted the matter wouldn’t have made it to court had Sabyan followed the advice of his neighbours and the RCMP to fix his fence. He ordered Sabyan to have it fixed by April 15 and granted him one year to pay the fine.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015