In 1999, New York City amended the health code to disallow people from owning pigs; however, the law hasn’t stopped many people from continuing to keep pigs.
According to pig owners, pigs are a great alternative pet for those who suffer from asthma and dander allergies, since pigs don’t shed. While pigs can be as loving and affectionate as other traditional pets, pigs do present some hazards, such as public health risks — they cannot be vaccinated for diseases like rabies — and aggressive tendencies. Just like dogs or cats, pigs have to be bathed and groomed, and must be spayed or neutered. Pigs must also be vaccinated and tested, and must have more access to air conditioning and water since they don’t sweat.
Queens Senator Tony Avella is fighting New York City’s pig policy, and may even introduce new legislation to overturn NYC health code; Sen. Avella wants to stop the fining and evictions that can result from owning a pig. A petition on change.org to reverse the health code has almost 1,500 signatures.
The most popular pigs are Vietnamese potbelly pigs, which were bred to become pets and can be 100-200 pounds, and mini Juliana pigs, which are usually 20-50 pounds. The typical lifespan of a pig is akin to dogs and cats — 15 years — and, according to pig owners, pigs can be taught use a litter box. Pigs are also known to be hypoallergenic. In our opinion, pigs belong to swine farms and not in households, which is best for both pigs and people. There are many other pet options if you are allergic, but have the urge to take care of a living species.
Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
March 13, 2013
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