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Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Friday, 21 January 2011

Ramsbottom micro-pig in shop ban

Patrick the micro-pig

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A Ramsbottom shop owner is campaigning for a change in the law after being told he cannot bring his micro-pig, Patrick, to work every day.

Lee White has been told by Lancashire County Council that he is breaking health and safety laws by moving Patrick on a daily basis.

The law regards micro-pigs as livestock, meaning they can only be transported once every 20 days.

Mr White said he had applied for numerous licences to get round the problem, but that Patrick "still can't come to the shop."

The shop owner said he thought there should be a change in legislation to exempt micro-pigs from the rules, allowing him and other owners to treat their animals as pets.

While the council said they had sympathy for Mr White, their lead officer for animal health and agriculture, Derek Smith, explained that "UK and EU law treats them the same as any other farm animal - and the county council has a duty to enforce the law in all cases to protect public and animal health."

Adding: "Pigs in particular can spread such diseases as foot and mouth and, of course, swine fever, which is why their movement is governed by strict regulations."

Mr White said he would be starting an online campaign to change the law and allow Patrick to make a regular return to his shop.

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