My Lovely Pig raises post-pandemic ‘pet pig crisis’

by Rose Barrett
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Cathy Davey, co-founder of My Lovely Pig (Ireland’s only national pig rescue) has raised the post-pandemic pig crisis that has engulfed the country. 

“We are seeing inbred pigs, i.e. people who got a brother and sister, one of whom could deliver anything up to 15 piglets,” she said on RTE Radio 1 this week. 

“We’re seeing pigs thrown over the wall into people’s houses, sometimes where they know a person might be kind to animals.”

The problem stems from the early pandemic restrictions which saw families confined to home. 

Some people, claimed Ms Davey, saw a quick opportunity to make a quick buck and the cost of dogs went through the roof. It was, she added, similar with pigs – and so pig breeding was on the up. 

“A little pig is quite cute,” she noted but the sellers did not tell buyers the truth, that pigs can grow huge!

My Lovely Pig is now attending cases right across the country, literally from Donegal to Dublin.

The real problem, Ms Davey said is that buyers were told their piglets were going to remain small, that they were ‘micro’ or ‘tea-cup’ breeds.

“There is no such thing as a micro or tea-cup pigs; pigs can grow up to 120kgs – I think the smallest pig we have in care is 80kg.”

Unfortunately, un neutered pigs can breed with members of their own family, mother, father, sister, brother and can have anything up to 15 piglets per litter.

Sadly, after a winter with their pig, and people realise how noisy they are, how big they get and how quickly they breed, MLH is seeing a huge number of pigs being surrendered or abandoned. 

Ms Davey added pigs are very smart, very caring and get attached to their owner/carer so separation or abandonment is very traumatic for them.

The only pig rescue charity in Ireland, My Lovely Pig is stretched to its limits at the moment, in response to the crisis. The charity is calling on the government to introduce laws on the breeding of pigs.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Ms Davey said they currently had over 130 pigs in their care, with at least four sows about to give birth.

See, My Lovely Horse on Facebook and other social media portals.

Featured image: Brian pig in the care of My Lovely Pig

Photo My Lovely Pig Facebook

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