Miniature Pig

The Columbus City Council is in the process of discussing whether it will ban miniature pigs from being kept in city corporate limits. Similar action was taken last year with roosters, with a small exception allowing for 4-H participants to keep them in city limits during a small window leading up to the Platte County Fair.

For the second time in less than a year, an animal-related item has been brought forward to the Columbus City Council for deliberation.

During October 2018, the council started a discussion and ultimately passed an ordinance banning all roosters from corporate city limits with a small exception allowing 4-H participants to have the bird within corporate limits during a short time frame leading up to the Platte County Fair.

Now, the discussion is centered on banning miniature pigs from corporate city limits. During this week’s meeting, the council had its first reading of the ordinance.

“This came before the Committee of the Whole in 2017, and it was decided to ban miniature pigs,” Columbus City Administrator Tara Vasicek said. “At the time it was put in the stack of ordinances to be updated when we went through the whole code and that hasn’t happened yet.

“We have had staff shortages in the clerk’s office and been very busy with other things, but it has come up recently and that’s why we are pulling it out – we would like to go ahead and pass what we talked about two years ago."

Ward 3 Council Member Rich Jablonski inquired whether there would be some sort of loophole for 4-H’ers, just like with the previously passed action taken against roosters. Vasicek noted that she was under the impression that similar circumstances surrounded this proposed ban.

“I can go back and pull out those old minutes, but I believe that is what it was, that we allow it for a certain season and they just need to register and let us know," she said.

Originally, both the rooster and miniature pig discussions were coupled together and brought before council at the recommendation of former Animal Control Officer Shawn Flowers, who resigned from his post earlier this year.

At the time, Flowers said that the recommendations were made in an effort to take city rules regarding pets more modern, according to The Columbus Telegram archives. Regarding roosters, Flowers also noted that there was evidence that the animals were being raised for fighting in the area and that there was local concern over the animals’ loud crowing.

On the pig front, Flowers highlighted how there was no clearly-defined city code, which at the time allowed for the animals if they were less than 100 pounds, registered as purebred and tested for pseudorabies, a contagious, infectious, and communicable viral disease of livestock.

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Flowers at the time added that the animals will grow larger than 100 pounds within a year, and two years ago there was no main registry for purebred miniature pigs and local veterinary offices didn’t offer the expensive pseudorabies testing. In 2017, Flowers reported that he was only aware of one miniature pig in town.

The ordinance banning miniature pigs within corporate city limits would become law 15 days if passed following the governing body’s third and final reading.

Other meeting highlights:

*Several items relating to the new downtown police station were funded by the council: $27,213.67 for audio/visual equipment; $119,889.36 for furniture inside of the news station; and $10,726.75 for radio equipment at the department.

The funds are already budgeted in the cities Capital Improvement Program budget and add no additional project expenses, Vasicek said.

The items were unanimously passed.

*The council approved a quote of $31,630 from RoadBuilders Machinery & Supply Co. for the city to rent equipment that will be used for flood cleanup at Quail Run Golf Course.

*The council awarded a bid to Obrist & Company Inc. in the amount of $698,875.75 for the sewer extension district No. 46 project extending from Lost Creek Parkway at 38th Street to just west of 10th Avenue.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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News Editor

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram, Schuyler Sun and The Banner-Press newspapers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

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