Am I allowed a piggy in the city?
So once again I was asked for my expert opinion.(expert in my own mind anyhow, haha). I had someone interested in purchasing one of our piggies, but the city was hesitant in allowing one for this instance. So I had I to do some homework, and fast.
This isn't going to be some intellectual, university PhD type of research paper but it got the job done. Because of my answer, they did allow him to have a piggy.
So according to Municipal Code 9.08.010 from the City of Placentia which states:
It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to keep or maintain or permit to be kept or maintained, in this city, any horse, mule, donkey, goat, cow or any similar animal.
Boy I was in luck notice, it didn't say pig specifically; and the other key element I had to dispute was "or any similar animal". Bingo!!! So I concentrated on my answer to show the differences between the animals the municipal code listed and a pig.
So here goes my answer
A pig is NOT similar to a goat or cow because the latter two are ruminant animals. A ruminant animal has the need to constantly be grazing due to the fact that it consumes low quality vegetation. A ruminant has a 4 chambered stomach;the four digestive compartments are the reticulum, rumen, omasum and the abomasum (this last compartment is similar to our digestion system)
These 4 compartments allow the animal (ruminant) to ferment and digest the excessive cellulose and fiber in its diet.
A horse, mule or donkey differ then a pig due to the fact they are hindgut fermenters. They are a single stomached animal but their digestion requires a fermentation system analogous to the rumen in a ruminant. The process of fermentation that occurs in the hindgut is essentially identical to that which occurs in the fore stomach of ruminants. Therefore the stomachs of ruminants and the large intestine of the donkey, mule and horse are therefore functionally similar.
The digestive system of a pig is similar to that of a human(with some differences in enzymatic action and in intestinal lengths), only one stomach and gastric juices (acid) are used for digestion.
So there are two major differences between a pig and the other animals mentioned in Municipal Code 9.08.010 1) the other animals have a unique digestive system that differs from a pig. 2) The other animals listed are herbivores, whereas the pig is an omnivore. Which means a pig does not need to be out in a yard or field eating all day.
So know that you understand the fundamental differences between a pig and a ruminant's digestive system, this leads me to the reason why “certain barn animals” are not allowed into various city limits. THE MAIN REASON IS DUE TO THE FREQUENCY AND AMOUNT OF FECES AND METHANE GAS A RUMINANT OR RUMINANT TYPE ANIMAL PRODUCES.
According to Wisegeek (http://www.wisegeek.com/is-it-true-that-many-major-cities-ban-livestock-within-city-limits.htm)
There are a number of different reasons why certain livestock are not allowed within the city limits. But one of the main reasons is due to smells, sounds and litter that they cause. Excessive defecation which leads to excessive methane gas production. Due to the ruminant’s unique digestive system and their consumption of high cellulose and high fiber food, they defecate 6-12 times a day. That would be a health hazard due to manure accumulating and a smelly issue in the city. Not to mention all the sounds they would produce throughout the day and night. There would also possibly be some animal cruelty issues depending how they are housed in the city. There probably won’t be much room for them to roam, which means they would be penned up for most of the day in a cramped space. And there would be sanitary issues if you kept a cow or horse in your small backyard.
So now that we know exactly why certain animals are not allowed within the city limits. Let’s get to know the miniature pig.
According to this NBCNEWS.COM article, pigs rank as one of the top 10 smartest animals on the planet. I quote from this article
Here's the dirt on pigs: They are perhaps the smartest, cleanest domestic animals known - more so than cats and dogs, according to some experts
People constantly have the image of pigs rolling in the mud, which when extremely hot outside and a mud puddle is available then they would be right. Why? Pigs have no sweat glands; therefore they cannot regulate their body temperature. Put them inside in a temperature controlled home and then they’re in heaven. No sweat glands mean they do not smell.
Another quote from this article
A sign of their cleverness came from experiments in the 1990s. Pigs were trained to move a cursor on a video screen with their snouts and used the cursor to distinguish between scribbles they knew and those they were seeing for the first time. They learned the task as quickly as chimpanzees.
Pigs are EXTREMELY intelligent animals. They show affection and love. They poop like a cat, meaning they use a potty box. They don’t bark and cause problems like a dog would in a neighborhood. They are not aggressive animals, they don’t smell and they don’t poop excessively. They are awesome animals that are never noticed. They just love to be with their owners and snuggle. NEVER, EVER A BURDEN TO THEIR ENVIRONMENT.