By Rose Barrett
RESCUE piglet Jimmy weighed less than a bag of sugar when he was handed into My Lovely Pig Rescue – but now he’s quite the babe at the animal sanctuary!
Charity co-founder Cathy Davey, who has 50 pigs in total at the centre, revealed he’s now almost a kilogram, adding: “He should, at five weeks, weigh seven to 12kg.
“Look at his tiny scrawny bum and mutilated tail, it is sore to the touch but thanks to the team here, it has been cleaned so infection won’t set in.”
Jimmy, named after a character in the TV series ‘The Office’, is a commercial piglet, a ‘landrace’ who had his tail docked; a standard practise in intensive farming.
“This is illegal and just because it’s standard practice, that doesn’t mean it’s ethical either,” Cathy told Dublin Gazette. “Jimmy and his siblings are bred in close quarters in tight pens with their mother for the first two weeks only.
“They have no stimulation, no straw and no outdoor play area to root around in. When they are reared in the confined quarters of intensive farming, they begin to bite each other’s tails – this is stereotypic behaviour of animals cruelly confined or wild animals in captivity.”
Jimmy has been at the shelter for nine days and has now progressed to pan feeding.
Cathy said: “We had to feed him every hour or two when we first got him, he was so malnourished. A farmer gave it to a young child – totally unsuitable as he was uncastrated and would grow to 200kgs, he’d be full of testosterone in no time.
“We leave him a pan of goat’s milk and baby food at 10pm at night. We give him a little pig weaner food too.”
Cathy revealed that Gardai, under the Health & Welfare Act, have seized and surrendered 12 animals to the centre in the past two weeks including horses, donkeys and ponies.
The charity continues to take in dogs and cats, especially kittens from unwanted litters, and goats. “Thankfully, we are finding homes very quickly for dogs surrendered during lockdown,” said Cathy.
For more information or to donate visit https://donate.mylovelyhorserescue.com/