Opinion Former

RSPCA: 8 little pigs need new ‘digs’

Four pairs of Kunekune pigs are looking for new homes after being left without shelter in a field in Paddock Wood near Tonbridge in Kent.

The pigs, which range in age from a few months to a year old, were kept in four fenced pens with no place to get out of the ice, wind and rain. They had no straw or other bedding.

Members of the public had reported that the pigs were escaping onto a nearby road and in danger of being run over.

RSPCA Inspector Andy Kirby said: “The bottom of their pens was just a mire of puddles and mud and they must have been lying down on this in all the snow and ice we’ve had recently.

“The owner had been renting the field but was about to be evicted and agreed to hand the pigs over to us.

“There was no sign of food and water in the pens but the pigs were not underweight and they were very friendly so it’s clear that they were used to being handled.”

The Kunekune is a small, short breed of pig that can range from between one hundred and twenty to two hundred and forty pounds in weight.* They have a distinctive pair of tassels, called piri piri, under their chin like a goat.

RSPCA staff have named the youngest male and female, who are approximately six months old, Peppa and George.

A pair of brothers who are about a year old are now Woody and Buzz and two one year old male and female pairs are Rosemary and Thyme and Lady Hillary and Sir Nathaniel.

Any prospective owners of these pigs must have the correct facilities to care for livestock. Even small breeds of pig such as Kunekune need lots of space to roam, and appropriate food, as well as a warm, dry pig house and plenty of material to root around in such as straw. As pigs are such sociable creatures they must be re-homed with at least one other friendly pig.

Owning and caring for a pig requires a great deal of commitment, time, skill, money, sufficient land, specialist veterinary care and compliance with the legislation governing keeping a pig. 

The estimated cost to the RSPCA of boarding all eight pigs is more than £300 a week.

Anyone who thinks they can offer a new home to the pigs should call the RSPCA’s cruelty and advice line on 0300-123-4999.

More Articles by RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) ...

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