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(News item) Pigs as pets

 
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agate
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: (News item) Pigs as pets Reply with quote

I have no particular thoughts about pigs as pets. Not having ever adopted a pig, I know next to nothing about pigs, though I've heard that pot-bellied pigs were becoming popular pets a while back.

This news item in my city's newspaper caught my attention and seemed funnier and funnier as I read along in it:

Quote:
Tacoma, WA - Monday, May 12, 2008

Lawyers in Tacoma debate whether a pig is a hog


JASON HAGEY; jason.hagey@thenewstribune.com
Last updated: May 12th, 2008 06:32 AM (PDT)

Add this to the list of life’s great questions: Is a pig a hog? It might seem silly, but that simple definition is at the heart of a Tacoma courtroom drama that’s been playing out for months and remains unresolved – at least in the eyes of the law. The saga continues Tuesday, with a hearing scheduled for Tacoma Municipal Court.

It started almost two years ago in July 2006 when a Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department inspector sent Judson Morris III a letter informing Morris that he was not permitted to keep a hog within the City of Tacoma.

The inspector, Harold Withrow, followed up with visits to Morris’ house on South Eighth Street, and more letters, each time informing Morris that keeping a hog violated Tacoma city ordinance.

Chapter 5.32 of the Tacoma Municipal Code, titled “Hogs,” states that “the keeping of a hog or hogs within the City of Tacoma is hereby declared to be a public nuisance.” Exceptions are made for slaughterhouses and stockyards.

At first, Morris said he removed the animal or was looking for a new home for the pig, a Vietnamese potbelly named Pig-pig. Morris spoke briefly with a reporter to arrange a meeting with Pig-pig, but later canceled the appointment.

When Pig-pig remained on the property, Withrow eventually sent the case to the city prosecutor for charging.

The crime: Keeping a hog.

Morris fought the charge. He was appointed a public defender who mounted a successful argument that the city ordinance bans hogs – but Morris doesn’t have a “hog.”

He has a “pig.”

The lawyer, Gaurav Sharma, even had a signed affidavit from a veterinarian to prove it. The vet, Tim Gintz, said under the penalty of perjury that he “examined the animal in question and conclude that it is a sow (female pot-bellied pig) and not a hog (male pig having been castrated). As defined in Black's Veterinary Dictionary.”

Not so fast, said the city’s attorney, Charles Lee. Lee argued that the city’s ordinance was not intended to be gender-specific, that city ordinances pertaining to dogs, fowl and rabbits do not permit one gender and ban the other, and that “hog” and “pig” and “swine” are all interchangeable terms.

“It is clear that the Tacoma Municipal Code forbids all hogs both male and female and a quick reference to any common dictionary would make it clear that a reasonable person of the community would be able to know the common meaning of the word ‘hog’ meant all hogs, pigs and swine,” Lee wrote in response to Morris’ motion to dismiss the case.

The lawyers argued during a court hearing in December about the definition of “hog,” citing definitions from different dictionaries.

According to a transcript, Sharma told Judge Arthur Emery, “There’s really not a case law on this telling the Court exactly whether a hog is a …”

It was too much for Emery.

“Why do you do this to me?” the judge said.

“...a hog or a pig,” Sharma continued.

Later, in a January hearing, Sharma told the judge that Morris’ pig is popular with his neighbors.

“The neighbors love the pig. They talk to the pig,” Sharma said.

“What do they use, pig Latin?” the judge asked.

In the end, Emery sided with Morris, saying that although Tacoma’s municipal code states that keeping a hog within the city limits is a public nuisance, “it doesn’t tell you what a ‘hog’ or ‘hogs’ is,” Emery said. “Furthermore, this ordinance was passed in 1980 but was based on a statute enacted in 1912.”

Emery decided that for the purposes of Tacoma’s law, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig is a pet, not a hog.

Tacoma appealed the judge’s decision to Superior Court, where Judge Susan Serko reversed the lower court ruling last month and ordered the case sent back to Tacoma Municipal Court. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

“The question of whether a female pig is a hog is an issue of fact,” Serko declared.

Indeed.

Pig-pig – and the Western world – can only wait for an answer



--from the Tacoma (WA) News Tribune
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cricket52



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 343
Location: northern Ontario

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is hilarious. I hope Pig-pig gets to stay, they make lovely pets.

I'll stick to budgies thanks. I am on a budgie forum - here is a link to one of the members and one of her budgies. You can't keep just one. sunny


http://tiny.cc/JW4Ko

http://tiny.cc/0FqwT

If you have time and like budgies watch them in order. Pistachio adores her.
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agate
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remarkable how much personality a budgie has, isn't it? I'm afraid Phoebe, my cat, might become a little too interested in a budgie, though...
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Gary



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being in the farming biz for quite a while, I remember when Pot belly pigs would bring as much as $700 or $800 . In the last few years when a pot belly pig comes through the auction the auctioneer has to beg to get $5 for them. I guess I farmed too many years pigs are livestock and thats what I built that barn for.
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agate
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You believe in using everything of the pig but the squeal, is that right?
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ewizabeth



Joined: 29 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, did Pig pig get to stay? If the neighbors like him, what's the problem? I'd love it if we had a pet pig in the neighborhood, as long as the owners cleaned up after him. geek

Imagine hearing the squeals among barking dogs. :-)
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