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Pigs in Law and Literature


During a recent search for an old Oregon case* (at least we think it is an Oregon case – and even that it is old may be debatable), a colleague sent me a link to this news story about some feral pig legislation working its way through the Oregon Legislature: HB 2221 (PDF or HTML):

Man vs. pig like Ahab vs. Moby Dick, by MARK FREEMAN, Medford Mail Tribune, April 11, 2009:

Excerpt: “POWERS, Ore. — There’s a big pig rooting its way around Jody Cyr’s 400 acres of southern Coos County rangeland, and Cyr has spent the better part of the past three years doing his best to kill him.

The 32-year-old Cyr spends many off season hunting evenings tracking the feral swine, reaching into the vast array of hunting tricks allowed year-round for this non-native, unprotected animal.

“Spotlight it. Bait it. You name it, and I’ve tried it,” Cyr says. “I really want to kill him.”

Beginning next year, Cyr might be required by law to kill him, or perhaps become a criminal for failing to do so….” (link to full story)

Oregon Legislation: HB 2221: “Creates crime of sale or purchase of hunts for feral swine. Punishes by maximum imprisonment of one year, $6,250 fine, or both, and revocation of hunting licenses, tags and permits for period of 24 months. Makes sale or purchase of hunts for feral swine violation punishable by $1,000 fine and revocation of hunting licenses, tags and permits for period of 24 months. Creates crime of knowingly allowing feral swine to roam on private land. Punishes by maximum imprisonment of one year, $6,250 fine, or both….”

And then there is P.G. Wodehouse’s famous sow, the Empress of Blandings, a true favorite.

There is an old (1950’s or 60’s) science fiction story, whose author or title I cannot remember, about the compatibility of pigs and humans when their organs are transplanted, from the former to the latter. The author may have been influenced by the 1896 H.G. Well’s Island of Dr. Moreau.

There is also a wonderful joke (I have a joke about almost everything!) about kosher “ham”, but I’ll save that for another time.

* Here is a description of the case that may or may not exist in Oregon: “A homeowner failed to fence in a pig that walked onto a highway. The police/sheriff responded to the scene and while responding got into a car crash with a civilian driver. The question for the court was proximate cause and liability. Was the police department liable for the crash or was the pig owner for not fencing in the pig?”

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2 responses to “Pigs in Law and Literature”

  1. Chris Orr says:

    Haha–because you really DO have a good joke for everything AND are an invaluable gleaner of law information, I have subscribed to the OLR feed. (What took me so long?) -Chris O

  2. Anonymous says:

    The pig case in Oregon did occur!
    A large pot-bellied pig got loose and when it was in the highway, got struck. That driver sped on. Someone else called it in. The county deputy was dispatched to the scene and responded, crashing with yet another civilian driver as he approached the scene….the county, sued by the civilian for deputy’s negligence, brought a third party action against owners of the pig for not adequately fencing the pet pig!

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