We the undersigned call on the Fraser Valley Regional District to amend Bylaw No. 1206 to allow for the keeping of one, two or three pigs, classified as livestock as pets on private property.
Understanding there are reasons why pigs are not to be kept on "real property" it is possible to do so in a manner that minimizes these issues.
Eli Gagne kept a pig named Hamson on his property, and along with his family raised Hamson as a family pet. All the neighbors enjoyed the pig's presence, except for one who had a history of being a cantankerous and ornery neighbor generally speaking. Hamson was cared for like a dog, their waste was disposed of in a non offensive way, and the family loved him like a pet. The previously mentioned neighbor; however, took offense and contacted the regional district, who then informed the Gagnes that Hamson must be removed or they would be penalized. (The family could have applied for a Temporary Use Permit, but the animal control officer failed to inform them of this right.) Hamson was hurriedly rehomed, and the combined stress took a toll. Hamson died a week after rehoming and the Gagnes were devastated.**
The issues of keeping livestock on real property, such as noise issues and manure disposal can be rectified by an individual if they have the mind to do so - as the Gagnes did, and as any reasonable adult should be able to do. It is also not the regional district's business which animal a family chooses to love, if that family does so in a responsible manner. Pigs kept as pets in this instance would have the same legal protections (under the provincial Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act) as pets.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are from the Fraser Valley Regional District which includes Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Harrison Hot Spring, Kent, Hope and Mission please indicate so in the comment section when you sign. It matters that the regional council knows its consitutents support Hamson's Law.
** Correction: Hamson died the day he was rehomed.