Wangaratta Council bans Grunt the pig from being walked down the street

BANNED: Grunt's owner has received a letter from Wangaratta Council telling him the pet pig can no longer be walked along the city's streets, or he will be fined.
BANNED: Grunt's owner has received a letter from Wangaratta Council telling him the pet pig can no longer be walked along the city's streets, or he will be fined.

Grunt the giant pig has been banned from walking the streets of Wangaratta - even on a lead - or his owner risks being hit with an $806 fine.

Matthew Evans received a notice to comply from Wangaratta Council, stating that his regular practice of walking his pet pig on a lead on council-owned streets was a breach of its "community amenity" law.

Under the law, people cannot unreasonably interfere with others' enjoyment of council land or act in a way that endangers them.

Mr Evans posted the notice on his "Grunt The Pig" Facebook page and immediately received a flood of support from Wangaratta residents who have regularly seen him out walking his pig down the street over the past couple of years.

Many of the comments stated how well-behaved they found Grunt, but a council spokesman said there had been complaints about him taking food from children and being uncontained from his property.

The pig became a problem recently when police and council staff spent hours trying to contain the animal.

"While we understand the angst about this issue, council needs to put community safety first," the spokesman said.

"The owner has not been asked to put down the pig, but has been asked to contain it to his property and not walk the pig in on council property in Wangaratta.

"If it was a dog that had raised the same level of community concern, council would have been notified and required to act.

"Council understands the bonds that exist between people and their pets and do not wish to separate the owner from Grunt but just ask that the pig be exercised in areas away from members of the public.

"We wish no harm to Grunt but have an obligation to protect our community."