Local pig farmer pleads guilty in court for roaming animals

Barriere pig farmer must log efforts to maintain/repair his fence after pleading guilty under the Livestock Act

By Cam Fortems

Kamloops This Week

A Barriere pig farmer must log efforts to maintain and repair his fence after pleading guilty under the Livestock Act to allowing his animals to roam on neighbours’ property and a nearby highway.

In Kamloops provincial court on Thursday,  March 19, the Crown outlined the frustration of neighbours and danger to motorists from Paul Sabyan’s pigs — which ranged in size from 200 and 900 pounds — repeatedly escaping an enclosure.

Sabyan also pleaded guilty under the Motor Vehicle Act to allowing domestic animals on the highway.

“This was more than just a nuisance,” judge Len Marchand said.

“There was significant damage to neighbours’ property and risks to motorists on the Yellowhead Highway.”

Articling student Jay Michi, said Sabyan — who calls his livestock “my little piggies” — once kept as many as 100 of the animals at his Louis Creek property, but that number is now down to 22.

Michi said Sabyan has lived in Barriere since the late 60s and is a life-long farmer. He began to raise pigs about three years ago.

He has suffered serious health problems recently and makes a limited income from his operation.

Marchand said the RCMP made extensive efforts to accommodate Sabyan and allow him to fix his fence, but he neglected to do so.

The sentencing judge gave him a $500 fine and one year of probation.

Sabyan must provide proof of repairs to his fence by the middle of next month, as well as evidence of inspection and further repair to probation officials or police.