THE #53 PIGS
In early 2019 Beneath the Wood undertook an epic rescue that would prove to be the largest reversal of a destruction order placed on animals from the animal agriculture industry in the United Kingdom.
This reversal, which became pivotal to the sanctuary’s expansion, was of pigs who became known as the Pembrokeshire 53. After a government raid on Bramble Hall Farm in Pembrokeshire, an illegal slaughterhouse was discovered and all of the 200 animals there were found to be in an appalling state, emaciated, starving and with many close to death.
Most of the animals were quickly removed and relocated but the #53 pigs were put under a destruction order as they had been eating dead carcasses that were strewn around the farm. They had also been consuming bricks, building debris, car tyres, batteries and car panels. Due to this, they were deemed to have, (possibly) TSE, which is the pig, or swine, equivalent of BSE (Mad Cow disease). Tests for TSE are inconclusive and it is because of this that Beneath the Wood fought to oppose and reverse the destruction order and with the help of an incredible firm of solicitors, Advocates for Animals, an arduous and exhausting nine-month legal wrangle ensued.
On October 9, 2019, Beneath the Wood finally took delivery and welcomed into their care the #53 pigs, although that number had grown to 74 by then due to inadequate care in a government holding facility whilst their plight was being fought over. This also resulted in piglets being born soon after the pigs arrived at the sanctuary.
It means Beneath the Wood now has over 100 pigs and the sheer cost of feed, straw for bedding, shelters and daily care is massively high … the quote for putting up a much-needed permanent winter barn (plus the concrete and fencing work) was £35,000 and the cost of feeding the pigs is £1,000 a week!
Beneath the Wood desperately needs support and thanks to all those who can and do help … if YOU can help in any way please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
NAMES A fair few of the pigs have been named. So far we have Viva (named by animal rights group Viva!), Veevee (below far left, named and sponsored by vegan apparel company Viva La Vegan, massive supporters of BTW), Spottie, Squidgy, Pumpkin, Rainbow, Gandalf, Rambo, Hope, Faith, Belief, Nelson, Herbie, Ollie, Daisy Lea, Phoenix, Jess, Jora, Eric, Storm, Nelson, Ollie, Brian and Oreo.