Are Pet Pigs Legal in Delaware?

When it comes to unconventional pets, few are as endearing and intelligent as pet pigs. These animals have gained popularity over the years due to their sociable nature, high levels of intelligence, and their ability to be trained. However, before considering adding a pet pig to your family in Delaware, it is important to understand the legalities surrounding owning one.

Pet pigs come in various sizes and breeds, ranging from small teacup pigs weighing around 20 pounds to larger potbelly or farm pigs that can weigh over 100 pounds. They require ample space for exercise, proper nutrition, and regular veterinary care just like any other companion animal.

In Delaware, there are specific regulations governing the ownership of pet pigs. As per state law (Title 3 Chapter 24), potbellied or mini-pig breeds weighing less than 125 pounds are allowed as pets within residential areas with some restrictions:

  • Licensing: Owners must obtain an annual license for their pet pig from the local Animal Control Office.
  • Zoning Restrictions: Some counties or municipalities may have zoning regulations dictating where pet pigs can be kept. It’s crucial to check with local authorities regarding any restrictions on owning pet pigs in your area.
  • Housing Requirements: Pet pig owners need to provide suitable housing that meets specific standards outlined by state law regarding enclosure size and cleanliness.
  • Vaccinations and Health Certificates: All pet pigs must be vaccinated against diseases such as swine erysipelas and tetanus. They also require an annual health examination conducted by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Escaped Pigs: If a pet pig escapes from its owner’s property, the owner must immediately notify local Animal Control officers and make efforts to safely recapture the animal.

While pet pigs can make delightful companions, potential owners should carefully consider their ability to provide for these animals’ needs. It’s crucial to understand that pigs are intelligent beings with specific welfare requirements. Responsible ownership involves:

  • Educating Yourself: Researching and understanding the unique characteristics and care needs of pet pigs is essential before bringing one into your home.
  • Budgeting Properly: Pet pigs require financial resources for food, veterinary care, housing, and any unforeseen expenses that may arise.
  • Socialization and Training: Providing adequate socialization opportunities and training sessions is vital for a well-adjusted piggy companion.
  • Lifelong Commitment: Pigs have long lifespans (upwards of 15 years), so be prepared for a significant commitment when considering adding one to your family.

Pet pig ownership in Delaware is legal but subject to specific regulations outlined by state law. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these laws before bringing home a pet pig. Remember, responsible ownership extends beyond legality—providing proper care, attention, love, and commitment are paramount in ensuring a happy life for your four-legged friend!