Cantonment In Loving Swineness Sanctuary relocating after code issues

For two years, Mary Tharp and her family have allowed a pig sanctuary to utilize their 8-acre Cantonment property for agricultural research, using the ever hungry hogs for the removal of invasive cogongrass.

And while the experiment appears to have been an unmitigated success, drawing praise from agricultural experts, Tharp said her dealings with In Loving Swineness Sanctuary definitely altered her world view.

“That was the biggest mistake we ever made,” she said.

Now, following a run-in with code enforcement and other issues, the operators of In Loving Swineness Sanctuary Inc. agreed have to vacate the Tharp’s property.

Pigs roam Nov.  3 at the In Loving Swineness Sanctuary in Cantonment.  Following a run-in with code enforcement and other issues, the operators of the sanctuary are vacating the 8-acre property.

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Tharp said she and her husband bought 8 acres on Highway 95A in Cantonment about 10 years ago with the thought of building their retirement home there. They decided to allow In Loving Swineness, a nonprofit operated by Christal and Francis Ellard, in part because their next door neighbor wanted the sanctuary gone from that property.

“We kind of just got involved in it charitably,” Tharp said.

She said they were originally asked if the pigs could be used on the property as a research tool in the cogongrass experiment the Ellards had received permission to conduct. They were informed about 20 pigs that would be used in the experiment.