Roaming pigs damaging property in Middleburgh

MIDDLEBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Pigs are running wild in Middleburgh, and it’s not a new problem.

It’s a pig problem. Dozens of pigs are roaming free, sometimes as far as a mile from their farm, tearing up a farmer’s land where he’s planted seed.

“And I’ve seen as many as 20 this past week roaming around,” Fred Risse said.

These wandering pigs are a big pain for Risse who farms the land nearby.

“What the pigs do, they come, they rut up the land, so then we can’t mow it and stuff because there’s piles of dirt sticking up,” Risse said.

It’s not the first time this pack of pigs has been turned loose in Middleburgh.

“They’ve been on a lot of private property tearing up people’s lawns, scaring children, it’s pretty much out of hand,” Highway Superintendent Dale Nunamann said.

Nunamann says the issue dates all the way back to 2010. In 2011, a judge even ordered the pig’s owner, Michael Lepore, to keep them contained but still they roamed. In 2013, a video of a wayward pig was posted on Facebook.

“The gentleman tries, I believe, to take care of them but he’s just not capable and it’s just gotten out of hand,” Nunamann said.

We weren’t able to reach Lepore for comment. Risse says he’s had plenty of chances to fix the problem.

“He’s been offered settlements and for him to try to contain the pigs and I guess he’s not making an honest effort to do that,” Risse said.

Now, the town and property owners are wondering what else can be done to get these not-so-little piggies all the way home.

“They’re to the point right now that I think they would shoot them, but what are you going to do after you shoot a 300 lb. pig?” Nunamann said. “You really can’t leave it just lying there. You got to have a way to dispose of it, so yeah, it’s been a real, real, issue.”

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