The pigs that were recovered from a location in County Cavan.

Abandoned Cavan pigs flags up wider problem

PETS Kildare animal welfare charity stresses need for people to educate themselves before buying a pig

An investigation is underway into the abandonment of 26 pigs at an undisclosed location in County Cavan.

The animals, which were mostly in healthy condition, were transported for veterinary attention before being transferred to the care of animal welfare charity My Lovely Pig in County Kildare, which is now caring for them.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed the incident and investigation to the Celt.

Co-founder of the My Lovely Pig charity Martina Kenny says that, while finding this many animals in one go is unusual, the abandonment of pigs is becoming more common place.

“It’s very common,” she reports. “We’ve had a few cases of where they have been just dumped in forests, bogs and fields, by people who don’t want them anymore.

“They’re dumped by people who bought them as pets or thought they would be a teacup pig, but they’re not. Some people buy them for their meat, but they may not be suitable for this.

“It’s a problem all over the country, we come across abandoned animals a lot, especially in winter.”

More education around pigs is needed, especially around Christmas, according to Martina. She is also concerned by the availability to buy them online, noting many people purchasing pigs simply don’t know how to rear them.

“If people are thinking of their own pigs to eat, do your homework. If you’re thinking of a loved one who has always wanted a micro pig, there is no such thing. You have to be careful when a pig is born, it’s not like a little puppy. It’s not born floppy.

“It comes out with teeth and is full of energy. If someone wanted to, they could get away with telling somebody that’s two months old micro pig but it could be a day old or even a minute old, because that’s how they’re born.”

Martina also says that many people mistakenly believe pigs can be kept in cold wet conditions, which is not the case.

“People think that a pig can just survive in the woods in the forest, and that’s a certain type of pig, the wild boar. So there’s different types of pigs and they actually really do need a warm and dry bed.

“A couple of years ago, we rescued a pig from a man who was trying to fatten her up. He had her up to her belly in pure mud and water, she had to sleep standing up in it. I don’t even know how people think this is okay.”

Anyone who finds a pig is advised to immediately report it to the authorities.

“It’s important to report any abandoned animals to the Department of Agriculture, disease can spread really quickly,” explains Martina.