Animals

Pet pot-bellied pig problem: too many are on the loose | The latest news from WDEL News

There are more pot-bellied pigs on the loose in Delaware

According to the State Department of Agriculture, there are increasing reports of these pigs running through residential areas and mostly rural areas, including state lands.

Pot-bellied pigs have been marketed as micro pigs, teacup pigs, or by other cute names, but some can grow quite large — 70 to 200 pounds. In addition to posing a potential risk to landowners or motorists, they can establish feral pig populations or transmit endemic diseases such as salmonella or swine flu, which can spread to other animals or people.

Farm officials said pot-bellied pigs require special care and facilities, and more information on how to care for them is available from the department’s Poultry and Animal Health Department.

“Since pot-bellied pigs are a non-native species, prompt action will be taken to mitigate any threats they pose to Delaware’s land, livestock, natural resources and human health. The pigs will be shipped immediately if they roam freely on state-owned land, including state forests, state wilderness areas, and state parks.Due to pot-bellied pigs’ ability to reproduce at a very young age, the state must ensure that a feral pig population does not develop, which could quickly lead to the spread of disease and property damage,” the Delaware Department of Agriculture said in a statement. “Owners are encouraged to spay or neuter their pet pigs to prevent accidental litters. In addition, neutering pot-bellied pigs can help reduce behavioral problems, including aggression and the innate urge to roam when a sow or other animal is in heat.”

Pot-bellied pigs that are free to roam due to a complaint from a resident are presumed to be strays, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture will determine whether to place such animals. Pet owners are encouraged to use visible animal identification, such as a ear tag, so if a pot-bellied pig is found by the public, it can be reunited with its owner,” the ministry said.

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