Survey of humane organizations and slaughter plants regarding experiences with Vietnamese potbellied pigs

Linda K. Lord From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Thomas E. Wittum From the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Objective

To determine to what extent humane organizations are receiving requests to take unwanted Vietnamese potbellied pigs and to determine whether owners of potbellied pigs are selling them for slaughter.

Design

Mail survey.

Sample Population

1,178 humane organizations in 7 states and 978 slaughter plants in 4 states.

Results

802 (68%) humane organizations and 787 (81%) slaughter plants responded. Of the humane organizations that responded, 479 (60%) stated they were willing to accept potbellied pigs. Humane organizations received 4,380 requests from owners to accept potbellied pigs during the study period and accepted 3,149 (72%) of these pigs. Six hundred fifteen (20%) of the potbellied pigs accepted were strays. Of the 437 humane organizations that provided reasons why owners relinquished their potbellied pigs, 255 (58%) reported larger than expected size, 148 (34%) reported zoning restrictions, and 82 (19%) reported aggression. Of 485 slaughter plants that normally slaughtered hogs, 255 (53%) had received requests to slaughter potbellied pigs. These plants slaughtered 2,640 and refused 1,407 potbellied pigs during the study period.

Clinical Implications

Problems with larger than expected size, zoning restrictions, and aggressive behavior caused owners of Vietnamese potbellied pigs to relinquish their pets to humane organizations and slaughter plants. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997; 211:562–565)

Objective

To determine to what extent humane organizations are receiving requests to take unwanted Vietnamese potbellied pigs and to determine whether owners of potbellied pigs are selling them for slaughter.

Design

Mail survey.

Sample Population

1,178 humane organizations in 7 states and 978 slaughter plants in 4 states.

Results

802 (68%) humane organizations and 787 (81%) slaughter plants responded. Of the humane organizations that responded, 479 (60%) stated they were willing to accept potbellied pigs. Humane organizations received 4,380 requests from owners to accept potbellied pigs during the study period and accepted 3,149 (72%) of these pigs. Six hundred fifteen (20%) of the potbellied pigs accepted were strays. Of the 437 humane organizations that provided reasons why owners relinquished their potbellied pigs, 255 (58%) reported larger than expected size, 148 (34%) reported zoning restrictions, and 82 (19%) reported aggression. Of 485 slaughter plants that normally slaughtered hogs, 255 (53%) had received requests to slaughter potbellied pigs. These plants slaughtered 2,640 and refused 1,407 potbellied pigs during the study period.

Clinical Implications

Problems with larger than expected size, zoning restrictions, and aggressive behavior caused owners of Vietnamese potbellied pigs to relinquish their pets to humane organizations and slaughter plants. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997; 211:562–565)

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