WELCOME TO BENEATH THE WOOD
Beneath the Wood is a Viva! award-winning vegan sanctuary based in Wales that provides permanent homes for dogs with behaviour issues, pigs, sheep, cats and horses.
Last year we were involved in a high-profile case that rescued 53 pigs from truly horrifying conditions in Pembrokeshire. The pigs, who had been abandoned and left to their own devices, were removed from Bramble Hall farm after an investigation into an illegal ‘smokies’ slaughterhouse being operated on the premises. Serious welfare concerns were also reported at the farm.
Upon being rescued, Pembrokeshire County Council obtained a destruction order for the 53 pigs under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, due to the risk that they may have consumed dead animals on the farm and therefore possibly contracted Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE), a disease similar to that prevalent in cows (BSE) in the 1980s and 1990s.
Unprepared to give up on the pigs BTW teamed up with legal experts Advocates for Animals, the UK’s first animal protection law firm, who challenged the council for using the Animal Welfare Act to destroy the pigs for non-welfare related reasons. Advocates for Animals, along with some massive public support via a successful petition organised by Vegan Action Wales, enabled BTW to secure a famous victory.
After a long and arduous seven-month case the pigs were finally rescued in October … however several of the sows, unbeknown to BTW, were pregnant so 53 pigs soon became over 80!
Pigs are the fifth most-intelligent animals in the world yet they are treated as objects rather than feeling, thinking, intelligent beings. They are forced to live in torment, day after day in an environment where natural behaviours cannot be fulfilled. These lucky pigs have settled in well in their new surroundings but BTW, which is run by Sasha Bennett and John Awen, needs more support from animal lovers across the UK. Caring for this number of pigs is a demanding and very costly undertaking.
BTW also do some great work in rehabilitating dogs with behaviour issues – first identifying and then alleviating their problems. Like the pigs, a lot of these dogs have been saved from being put to sleep … and they have thrived on being rescued by Beneath the Wood.
Our resident dogs are not able to be homed or would be difficult to home due to behaviour issues. They have come to us from other rescues or from vets. Our cats and other farm animals have come from local farmers or people in the local community. Most of the animals that come to us will stay here for life as a safe haven.
We work with the animals in a positive way to help them overcome any problems. We help to build their confidence so they can enjoy life. We also spend time campaigning for a cruelty free world. We are a strictly no-kill sanctuary.