MARATHON -- Marathon Mayor Mike Cinque hopes the City Council's deliberations about pigs have finally come to an end. At last week's City Council meeting, eight proposed amendments to the infamous pet pig ordinance were trotted out before the Council for discussion.
The amendments were initiated by Councilman Chris Bull, who has expressed his unhappiness with the ordinance that allows residents to keep domestic pigs as pets.
"This was a simple ordinance to allow people to consider a pig as a domestic pig. It's not unusual," Cinque said. Regarding the eight proposed changes brought forward by Bull, the mayor said, "Sometimes government can overreach."
The first proposed amendment stated that only miniature Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs could be considered as domestic pigs. It was not passed.
The second, which was adopted, prohibits the breeding of pigs.
The third amendment, which also passed, requires male pigs four weeks of age and older to be neutered and female pigs four months and older to be spayed.
The fourth, which failed, would have capped the maximum weight for domestic pigs at 200 pounds.
The fifth, which was adopted, require pigs to be on a leash or in an enclosure when not inside a residence.
The sixth amendment, which passed, stipulates that enclosures cannot be an entire fenced-in back or front yard.
The seventh, which failed, would have required pig owners to clean outdoor enclosures at least once a week.
The last amendment, which also failed, would have made it unlawful for a pig owner to allow their pet to leave droppings on another's property and would have required said droppings to be immediately removed.
The final result of this heated debate, which began last November, is that Marathon now considers domestic pigs to be pets, just like cats and dogs. Owners are required to buy annual licenses and tags, in addition to getting the appropriate vaccinations.
Like dogs, pigs must be leashed when in public and residents can't breed them. Unlike cats and dogs, the city requires pet pigs to be spayed and neutered.
Pig owners are required to provide adequate outdoor enclosures for their pets but the city stopped short of dictating how often owners should clean up after their pets.