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“Teacup pigs” don’t exist warns Local Land Services as porkers quickly outgrow the backyard
Unscrupulous breeders are telling porkies when they try to sell you a teacup pig, warns Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GS LLS) today after some Hawkesbury residents realised pigs might fly before they stay small.
The warning comes after two separate local incidents involving the purchase of so-called ‘teacup pigs’.
Dr Lisa Goodchild with two so-called teacup pigs rehomed at Ebenezer after growing into these normal sized pigs
District Veterinarian Dr Lisa Goodchild said GS LLS had received calls for assistance after the purchased pigs became too large for their suburban owners.
“Teacup pigs don’t exist,” she said.
“Teacup is a label breeders give regular potbellied pigs that have been malnourished to stunt their growth or are falsely advertised as miniature.
“In our latest case, a woman bought a pig from a social media site expecting it to stay small, and when it grew to the size of a healthy, normal pig, she was no longer able to keep it in the regular suburban block they lived on,” she said.
“Thankfully in this case, a landholder was able to take the animal to her rural property which is designed for housing livestock.”
Ebenezer landholder Sue Lobsey took the female in as a companion for Chubbs her male pet pig.
“Chubbs was also sold as a teacup,” said Ms Lobsey.
“At the end of the day it’s important to know what you’re getting into when purchasing livestock, or any animal for that matter. We are fortunate to have the required facilities on our property to care for our various livestock but to expect to keep a fully-grown pig on a regular house block is completely unrealistic,” said Ms Lobsey.
Dr Goodchild said even when purchasing a pig as a pet, the usual National Livestock Identification System paperwork and protocols apply.
“Concerns around possible access to swill (prohibited pig feeding) and the associated disease risks with this practice could lead to devastating consequences to the agricultural industry – this may be particularly a problem if animals are housed with other animals or there are misconceptions about feed requirements/restrictions.
“Thinking pigs are going to stay small doesn’t remove the need for proper facilities. These animals can live for 15-20 years so people need to be able to commit to their care for an extended period,” said Dr Goodchild.
More information is available via the NSW DPI website 8-Step guide to moving and selling pigs. For more information contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.
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