Where by-laws are concerned, a mini pet pig is technically considered to be the same classification of animal as its full-sized commercial pig cousin. Particularly in urban areas there are often existing by-laws that do not allow you to keep a pig on your premises.
In January 2012, Jaime Neeb created a letter which she sent out to the major centres in Ontario asking for a change in outdated by-laws prohibiting ownership of Class 1 livestock in city limits. Pigs are included in this Class 1 rule. The Class 1 definition suits large commercial swine, not mini pet pigs.
At that time, she received a call from the Senior Clerk in Barrie, Ontario. He said that while they will not revise the by-laws in general, they do take each call on a case-by-case basis, and in the case of mini pet pigs, they would grant owners a “temporary” exemption and allow interested peoples to keep mini pet pigs. Should there be any complaints or infractions, the city would then have the power or authority to revoke the exemption. He told Jaime that at that point in time no one had ever filed a complaint.
To find out whether owning a mini pig is allowed in your jurisdiction, just search “animal control by-laws” and your town’s or city’s name. You can read through the by-laws to see whether there are any restrictions on owning a pig.
If there are restrictions against owning a pig in your area, we strongly suggest that you speak to your senior by-law officer, in person if possible. You can request that they grant you an exemption, similar to the ones described in Barrie, above.
To prepare for your meeting with your municipal by-law officer, we suggest you first become very knowledgeable about all aspects of pet mini pigs. You must be the one to contact your authorities – we cannot do this for you. What we can do, though, is provide you with a sample letter that you can submit to your local by-law office. Please let us know if you would like a copy of the sample letter to send to your by-law officer.