The Pig and the Law
The domestic pig is farmed throughout the world to provide meat for human consumption.† There is widespread national and international trade in live pigs, pig meat and boar semen.† In order to prevent the spread of disease from other countries to domestic pigs, a variety of laws and regulations have been introduced by governments over the years and these apply to all types of pigs, whether kept in the house as a pet or on the farm.
Owning a pig
Many cities and districts allow pet pigs, but only under license.† Check with your veterinarian for local rules and conditions.
Scraps of waste human food consisting of meat
These must never be fed to pet pigs.† Waste food can be defined as any meat, bones, blood, offal or other part of the carcase of any livestock.† Also any broken or waste foodstuffs (including table or kitchen refuse, scraps or waste) which contain or have been in contact with meat, bones, blood, offal or with any other part of the carcase of any livestock.† Great care must be taken in this matter, for example bread from a meat sandwich must not be given to pigs because it has been in contact with meat, which in prohibited food.† These requirements are to protect your pig from Foot and Mouth Disease, Classical and African Swine Fever and Salmonellosis.
Buying and selling and moving pigs
In order to move a pig from one place to another the owner may need a license.† The address where to obtained this can be obtained from your own veterinarian.† Typically, to get a certificate to exercise your pet you must:† (a) specify a route that you will be using: (b) keep your pet on a lead at all times when exercising or moving it; (c) there must be no contact with any other pig; (d) your pet must not have been fed any waste food at any time; and (e) you must not exercise your pet on agricultural land.† A certificate, when authorized, will last 12 months, after which it must be renewed.† A condition of the certificate is that the owner must carry it whilst the pet is being exercised and produced it on demand to a police constable, inspector or other government officer.
Taking your pig to a pet show†
If you want to take your pig to a pet show, then a license will probably have to be obtained.† This license authorises the movement of your pet to a named show and its subsequent return to your home premises, and the same conditions will be applied as for an exercise certificate.† It may be a condition of the license that on return home your pet must be kept separate from other pigs for a period of 21 days.† If during this 21-day period the pig is to be exhibited at another show or exhibition then a request will have to be made again to the licensing centre.
When moving your pig always use a trailer that has been thoroughly washed and disinfected, followed by rinsing out with clean water, to prevent irritation of the skin, before and after movement with a disinfectant approved for Swine Vesicular Disease.† These approved disinfectants can be purchased either from your local pet shop or agricultural merchantís store.† Note that iodine-based disinfectants may cause an allergic skin reaction on your pig.
Treating health problems in pets
As the owner of a pet pig you can treat it with a variety of medicines, some of which may be obtained at the local pet shop; others, like antibiotics, can only be obtained on prescription from a veterinary surgeon.† If you need to visit the vetís surgery with your pig, because it has a health problem, then you are permitted to do this but discuss with your veterinarian before making the trip.† In the event of an emergency your pig should not be taken to the vet Ė you must call the vet to come and see it.