I read that Ontario has a surplus of pigs. Can I adopt one as a pet?
Interest in pigs as pets surged recently when a crate of orphaned oinkers was dropped at Dalton McGuinty’s office, along with a sign reading “Due to misnaming an influenza ‘Swine Flu,’ our industry has been devastated…” The anonymous piglet abandoner is referring to record losses recently experienced by Ontario’s 2,767 hog farmers. A year ago, pork was the mainstay of every bistro worth its fleur de sel, but H1N1 has curbed our appetite for all things swiney. Unfortunately, city dwellers are barred from taking in the little trotters. Back in the mid-’90s, pigs were the pet par excellence, thanks in part to George Clooney and his pot-bellied companion (RIP Max Clooney, 1988–2006). Yet many Clooney wannabes didn’t account for the fact that their chihuahua-size friend would grow to exceed 150 pounds, relentlessly uproot lawns and pee more often than a kid on a road trip. The rejected pets ended up on foster farms, and in 1998 Toronto’s newly amalgamated Animal Services put the kibosh on domesticated porkers (also banned: anteaters, elephants and mongooses). If a Wilbur to call your own is still too much to resist, it could be time to consider greener pastures. Persons living in any of Toronto’s designated agricultural areas (Riverdale Farm, for example) are free to go hog wild.
• Question from Dave Kimball, Yorkdale
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