Pigs as pets: Gatineau makes it official for some 100 unrecognized fur babies
There is a motion to change a municipal bylaw that would allow miniature pigs as pets. The bylaw change will be voted on by the municipal council next month on April 18.
Pascal Langlais, a Masson-Anger resident, has had her pet miniature pig Pumba for nearly eight years. In August 2021, a new neighbour moved in and filed a complaint about the pig leading the City to give her a 72-hour notice to remove Pumba from the territory. According to the city, there were no laws that differentiated pigs as pets versus livestock, therefore Pumba was considered livestock. She then had to move the pig to Val-des-Monts for a while.
“It was a grey area with the laws because before getting Pumba I checked with the SPCA as well as with Gatineau. They indicated at the time that if my pig lived inside my house there would be no issue,” said Langlais. “It’s still a grey area, pigs are tolerated until a neighbour complains.”
Langlais spoke with Mario Aubé, Masson-Anger councillor, during the elections. He said that he would work to get the issues solved. “He kept his promise. It took a long time, but two years later he has the motions to change the law on the agenda.”
Although the law may be passed next month, Langlais says that she will be leaving Gatineau in a month for Val-des-Monts. She says that although she's leaving, there are approximately 100 other pigs on the Gatineau territory that deserve to stay with their families.
When asked what it would mean to her if the motion passed next month, Langlais says: “I would be very excited. I would be very proud that efforts paid off. Pigs are less disruptive than dogs; they are friendly and not aggressive. They deserve to be recognized as pets just like cats and dogs.”
"Now that we allow them as pets, I imagine that they will have a level of protection. We understand that it won't be legal to eat it afterwards because, after all, these are pigs that are part of our diet here in Quebec. Will it be forbidden to make a méchoui with the pig?" said Mike Duggan, Pointe-Gatineau councillor, voicing his concerns during the plenary meeting before the municipal council meeting.
Photo caption: Pumba, Pascal Langlais’ pet pig.
Photo credit: Pascal Langlais