Ramsbottom, Lancashire United Kingdom (PressExposure) May 19, 2011 -- Patrick the micro pig is friend and pet of Lee White, owner of the outdoor clothing company 'Whites' in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. Patrick the micro pig is somewhat a unique choice for a pet and has a reputation throughout the country with customers travelling far and wide to meet the unique member of staff. As reported in the Lancashire Telegraph, this unusual pet has become a celebrity among customers and has appeared on BBC and CBBC news. Patrick the micro pig has however caused quite a stir.
Lee White who runs the outdoor clothing store bought the micro pig as a pet and wanted to bring him to work to keep him company but as BBC news reported in January 2011, health and safety bosses said the pig is classed as livestock. Lancashire County Council assessed that Mr White was breaking health and safety laws by moving Patrick between home and the shop on a daily basis. The Council explained that pigs can spread diseases such as foot and mouth and swine fever, which is why their movement is governed by strict regulations.
Mr White started an online campaign to change the law and allow Patrick to make a return to his shop. The shop owner felt there should be a change in legislation exempting micro pigs from the rules, allowing him and other owners to treat their micro pigs as pets. True micro pigs are just 18 inches tall when fully grown and have been made popular by celebrity owners such as Paris Hilton, the Beckhams and even Golden Globe include vouchers for micro pigs in their goody bags.
After researching into the legislation the owner Lee White found a loophole in the law. The store owner managed to lift the ban in April 2011 by obtaining a walking license for Patrick the micro pig and registering himself as a pig farmer. Patrick's story has now led to a campaign for micro pigs to be reclassified as pets. More than 600 people have signed up to an online petition in support.
Lee White said "I think the law needs changing. Micro pigs are very en vogue now, so for people to have them as pets I think they need pet licences as opposed to livestock licenses."