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Strathcona County family will have to say goodbye to Eli the pig

Eli the pot-bellied pig will be removed from Michelle Kropp's Sherwood Park home. Craig Ryan, Global News

EDMONTON – A Strathcona County family will have to say goodbye to its pot-bellied pig after a last-ditch effort to save the animal failed Friday.

Strathcona County was granted an injunction to remove Eli the pig from Michelle Kropp’s home. She and her family will have three months to relocate the animal.

“We appreciate that it’s a very difficult time for the family, a very emotional topic. However, we do have bylaws in place that must be enforced,” said David Churchill, director of Transportation and Agriculture Services with Strathcona County.

The Kropps were not in court Friday because of a family wedding in Red Deer, but the family’s lawyer said it was a fair hearing.

“I know my client will be disappointed in the outcome here today,” said Rory Ziv. “There is going to be a bylaw review in the fall. Perhaps by the time that review happens the county will make some decisions here with respect to these types of animals.”

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Eli has been at the centre of controversy for months. In the fall of 2014 the Kropp family was given a ticket for breaking Strathcona County’s Animal Control Bylaw. Under the bylaw, the animal is considered to be swine, which is not allowed to be housed in an urban setting. But the family sees Eli as a pet and part of the family, so they vowed to do whatever it takes to save the animal.

READ MORE: Court rules Sherwood Park family’s pot-bellied pig violates bylaw

In November, Eli’s owners were found guilty of harbouring livestock.

Prior to Friday’s ruling the Kropp family was hopeful, because other municipalities like Strathmore have changed their bylaws to allow pot-belled pigs as pets.

Ziv said Eli will likely be sent to Ontario, but couldn’t say where.

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