Warning: this article contains images some people may find distressing
Heartwarming footage shows two rescued piglets enjoying their new found freedom after being rescued from horrendous conditions in a farm in west Wales.
The little piglets, named Kit and Jesse, were among the animals suffering horrific animal abuse at Bramble Hall Farm in Pembrokeshire last year.
Animal welfare officers rescued 53 pigs, 80 sheep, 20 horses and a donkey from the farm in January last year after police discovered the horrors inside the illegal slaughterhouse.
The floor was covered in blood and animal by-products and a herd of pigs were seen feeding on the remains of sheep carcases. During the two-day operation in which 58 dogs were also taken away by Dogs Trust ambulances, police described the site as horrific and council officers said they had never seen anything like it.
Sean Burns, 49 of Bramble Hall Farm was found guilty on counts of operating an illegal slaughterhouse, failing to dispose of animal by-products appropriately, placing unsafe food on the market (producing smokies) and failing to ensure that food safety and hygiene requirements were met.
49-year-old Burns also appeared at Swansea Magistrates Court on Thursday, where he was given a lifetime ban from keeping animals as well jailed for 20 weeks for illegal dog breeding and animal welfare charges.
The animals were rescued from the farm after residents said they’d had concerns about the premises, one resident claimed she saw dead puppies in the area as well as dogs fighting over a dead piglet and dead sheep in one of the fields.
Swansea Crown Court heard how the premises were also producing illegal ‘smokies’ which involves slaughtering sheep, removing their fleeces and then ‘smoking’ them with a blowtorch.
After their rescue a number of the animals were rehomed with Dogs Trust, the RSPCA re-homed the horses and some of the sheep and goats were sold at the market.
The 53 pigs were found in filthy conditions and starving with some having to eat dead carcasses and car batteries to survive but more bad news followed them after fears that the animals could be carrying ‘mad cow’ disease.
A destruction order was put on the pigs and they were given “a death sentence” and made to spend nine months in an isolation unit where they could have been slaughtered at any point.
But after months of campaigning by Beneath the Wood sanctuary and other supporters, many of these pigs and their piglets were finally given their forever homes in both Beneath the Wood sanctuary and Dean Farm Trust where little Jesse and Kit finally got to set foot outside for the first time.
A spokesperson for Dean Farm Trust said: “The 53 pigs suffered a horrendous life and we are so happy that Kit and Jesse’s parents are safe at Beneath the Wood.”
“Sadly, not all of the 53 pigs survived due to the appalling conditions they had been subject to. Kit and Jesse will get to play in freedom, wallow in the mud, make nests to sleep under the stars and make friends with the other 24 pigs that call Dean Farm Trust home.”