IM sets hearing to allow pigs as pets

IRON MOUNTAIN — Pot-bellied pigs up to 200 pounds and 18 inches in height will be permitted as pets under an ordinance proposed Tuesday by Iron Mountain City Council.

A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 17.

The ordinance is the result of “our realization that people are owning these” without reported complaints, said Jordan Stanchina, city manager.

No other type of livestock now is permitted in the city. With miniature/pot-bellied pigs growing in popularity, the ordinance establishes conditions to accommodate them.

Terms include:

— No more than two per residence. A pot-bellied pig is defined as a domesticated miniature Vietnamese, Chinese or Asian variety measuring up to 18 inches in height at the shoulder and weighing no more than 200 pounds.

— An annual license is required; fee to be set by the council. An application must be submitted to the animal control officer with a veterinarian certifying the pig is spayed/neutered, in good health and has received necessary vaccinations.

— Any male older than 2 years must have its tusks removed.

— A fenced yard is required for pigs going outdoors; a leash is needed if taken on a street, sidewalk, or other public place.

Stanchina described the rules as “very typical,” for cities that allow domesticated pigs.