Miniature pig herd takes over Austrian forest
The Local · 31 Mar 2016, 12:36
Published: 31 Mar 2016 12:36 GMT+02:00
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Owner of the pigs Josef Wagner had not realised how large they would grow and, although the animals are completely house-trained, his neighbours had complained and his landlord told him to get rid of them.
He said: "I didn't want them to end up in the slaughterhouse, but I didn't have anywhere else to put them so I was forced to release them into the woods."
And as these pictures show, they are doing really well in their new home. He turns up every day to feed them and check on them, and he has now been told by police that he has not committed any crime, so no action will be taken by prosecutors.
He said: "Releasing a pet into the wild can be punished as animal cruelty in Austria, and I went by myself to the police to see whether I had committed an offence. However, because I am regularly feeding them, it was decided it was not an offence, and for the police the matter is now closed."
Police spokesman Michael Masaniger said: "Miniature pigs are pets, but because he visits them every day there is no crime here."
However, many people are still unhappy about what are now 22 miniature pigs living in the local woodland located on the slopes of the Dobratsch mountain range in Carinthia, west of the city of Villach, making it a popular place for hikers and tourists.
After the owner of the woods said he does not want them there, however, it is up to Villach to decide whether to take any action. At the moment options are limited because local animal shelters do not want the pigs.
Rescue centre boss Jorge Montiel said: "We just don't have the space for 22 miniature pigs."
Story courtesy of Central European News