People living in Duluth can now have a pet pig.
The Duluth City Council passed an ordinance Monday that would allow residents to keep small hoofed animals – like miniature goats, pigs, horses or sheep – as pets.
Before this, city rules didn't allow people to keep those types animals.
The ordinance has a few restrictions though. The animal cannot weigh more than 50 pounds when it's fully grown, homeowners are limited to three hoofed pets, and they must get written consent from at least 51 percent of their neighbors before getting a pet license, which must be renewed annually, among other restrictions, the ordinance says.
City officials looked at other cities' restrictions on animals when deciding how to regulate hoofed animals in Duluth, FOX 21 says, and now City Councilor Barb Russ says, "I think we've come up with more restrictions than even St. Paul has," according to video of the meeting.
Russ says the restrictions will ensure the hoofed pets won't become commonplace in the city, the Duluth News Tribune says.
The ordinance takes effect 30 days after it passes and is published, the ordinance notes.
State law allows cities to regulate and license animal ownership by ordinance; while this probably does not authorize a complete prohibition against keeping animals within the city limits, it does permit reasonable regulations preventing a public nuisance. For example, cities may prohibit farm animals from certain districts within the city. All the considerations of city regulation of animals is beyond the scope of this chapter; consult state law and rule before adopting a comprehensive animal control ordinance.
Minnesota state law allows cities to regulate and license animal ownership through city ordinances, the League of Minnesota Cities says. And recently, many cities across the state have been loosening their rules to allow residents to keep certain animals as pets, especially when it comes to backyard chickens or some small farm animals.
The League of Minnesota Cities recently looked at this trend and how cities have added flexibility to restrictions on some animals. The league noted those who opposed to allowing more animals as pets were worried about smell, noise and other nuisances.