They're back: Middleburgh's pigs


By David Avitabile

After years of quiet, Middleburgh's roving pig problem has returned.
Middleburgh town board members heard stories about pigs, some reports as many as 30, traveling to other people's properties from their home at a farm on Durfee Road.
The problem is not new in Middleburgh. In fact, the pigs have been quiet for a few years since the town was awarded an injunction in court that required the owner to erect a fence and to keep the pigs off the town road.
At last week's town board meeting, resident Fred Risse spoke about the newest problem and highway Superintendent Dale Nunamann shared his observations.
Mr. Nunamann has been on Durfee Road for two or three evenings to see the problem first-hand.
The "pigs (are) up there tearing the hell out of everything."
That morning, the pigs were back on the farm, but "It's time to take care of the problem. They're trespassing on other people's property."
Mr. Nunamann showed board members pictures of the pigs.
He thought that about three to five pigs had been loose, but Mr. Risse said it may be as many as 30.
Mr. Risse suggested getting the police, DEC, Ag and Markets and other agencies involved.
Veterinarians should come and check on the health of the animals, he added.
Most farmers have liability insurance, noted Mr. Risse, a farmer himself.
Dog Control Officer Willie Karlau told board members that he had four calls on the pigs on Lower Road.
Mr. Karlau told them to contact Ag and Markets, the Sheriff's Office, and the State Police.
The pigs are apparently roving on several properties including the nearby Carver Laraway property.
Mr. Risse wondered why officials could not "pull the animals out."
Mr. Karlau added, "If they are on your property and destroying your property, you have a right to shoot them. I'm sorry."
Councilman David Lloyd said that Ag and Markets "have a lot of rules but not many enforcers."
Supervisor Pete Coppolo said he will contact the town attorney about the issue and the injunction.
Town Clerk Brenda Lawyer informed the board that the owner, Michael LePore, was supposed to appear in court last Wednesday, but had been in the hospital for 10 days.