ANDOVER town council has unanimously rejected a request for pigs to be kept at an allotment site.

Citing issues surrounding animal behaviour, animal welfare, and inconvenience for neighbouring residents, councillors raised concerns about the suggestion at a meeting of the allotment’s committee on Thursday (September 9).

Members were asked to consider a request to allow an allotment holder to keep pigs, although the applicant’s name and allotment site remained confidential under GDPR restrictions.

There is currently no provision for the keeping of pigs on the sites operated by the town council, of which there are seven with a total of 500 plots.

Reacting to the suggestion, newly-elected committee chair Cllr Kevin Hughes said: “I looked at the laws on this myself, and there is absolutely nothing in the law that says people are allowed to keep pigs. The only thing they have a right to have is chickens and rabbits. So we are not legally obliged, and my opinion would be no.”

He continued: “With the amount of trouble we have with people keeping chickens, I can see the problems with pigs being much, much worse.”

This concern was echoed by his deputy committee chair, Cllr Nigel Long, who added: “Under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the person must meet all the welfare needs of the animals.”

Cllr Long said it would be difficult for the council to ensure that these needs were being met, and also suggested that the smell of pigs on the allotment site would be unfair on neighbouring residents.

“I for one could not support this under any circumstances,” he said.

Putting the issue to a vote, the request was unanimously rejected.

Under the 1950 Allotment Act, the keeping of hens and rabbits is permitted on allotments and viewed as an allotment holder’s right, so long as they are for the tenants own use and not for business or profit. However, the keeping of bees, pigs, goats and other livestock is subject to the landlord’s permission.