My version of miniature pigs aka wessex saddleback piglets, snuggling together during nap time. These littlies would not be little or suit a backyard when they grow up!

While I initially raised pigs with the primary goal of producing our own ethically grown meat I quickly discovered that pigs are great company to have around.

I think they’re intelligent and naturally humorous creatures, and as an added bonus I found them great listeners. So it doesn’t surprise me that they make great pets, and can be happily kept as long term much-loved members of their peoples families.

I’ve just found out that there is a group representing the owners of  pigs who are kept as pets – The Miniature Pig and Pet Pig Association of Australia (wow, that’d be tricky to say quickly!). I’ve been browsing their website and am really impressed with their standards of excellence in breeding which registered breeders must adhere to especially in relation to the number of litters per year (one), which I am assuming is a way of ensuring pet pigs are not potentially grown as per puppy farms, with multiple litters per year to yield a maximum number of pets for sale, to the mother’s detriment.

Their commitment to de-sexing the pigs prior to sale also would also stem any future potential lowering of standards of care during breeding that may arise from breeders not affiliated with this set of guidelines.

There are only 10 breeders listed on the site so far – it will be interesting to see how this organisation develops. There are two vets who contribute to the site via a Q & A page.

I did briefly discuss pet pigs in my book Keeping your own free range pigs  with some things for potential owners to think about including the life-span of their potential pet (12-15 years) and the resulting commitment that requires, and the fact that that that itty bitty cute piglet you bought may end up growing, and growing, and growing – until you find yourself responsible for the care of a 70 plus kilogram animal.

Using a reputable breeder who can provide you with detailed information about how to look after your pig, and what the challenges you may face may be, seems like a smart idea to me.

Registered breeders with the MPPPAA must:

a). Keep their Breeding Pigs and Piglets in a clean and healthy environment, in  accordance with the DPI and Local Councils.

b). Breeding Sows will be 12 months of age and over when first mated.

c). Breeding Sows will have only one litter of piglets per year.

d). Keep official certificates for personal records and reference.

e). Keep all piglets/pigs up to date on all veterinary treatment and care.

f). Piglets will be handled so they are friendly.

h). Piglets are to be fully weaned before being sold/adopted/homed.

i). Piglets are to be a minimum of 6 weeks of age to be sold/adopted/homed.

j). Male and Female piglets that are being sold as pets are to be spayed (desexed) before being sold/adopted/homed and are qualified for limited registration.

k). Supply information to new owners of a pet pig on how to feed, house, train and the veterinary treatment and care requirements.

l). Offer ongoing support to who adopts their piglets/pigs

 

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