Parentdish is reporting that a woman who lent her pet micro-pig to a school to socialise with other animals was horrified to find out he had been sent to an abattoir, prompting a dispute over the pig’s legal ownership…
Ria Dell, 21, thought her pet Marmite needed companionship so she sent him to be cared for at a primary school which already owned a pig pen.
But two months later the school sent the pig to a slaughterhouse because they said it was aggressive and tried to bite a child.
Now, Ms Dell and West Rise Junior School in Eastbourne are locked in a bitter dispute over who owned the micro-pig.
Marmite was given to the 21-year-old, from Pevensey, as a birthday present last July and she raised him as a pet.
But after growing concerned that he was becoming lonely, she placed Marmite in, what she believed to be, a ‘boarding agreement’ with the school.
Ms Dell says she visited Marmite three times a week until his sudden disappearance but only discovered he had been sent to slaughter after a protracted series of conversations with the school.
She said: “He was a pet, he wasn’t livestock. Imagine what it would be like to have that happen to your dog.
“He would come when you called his name, he would sit in my lap for cuddles and he would give kisses. When I found out I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it and I was just screaming.”
…The school said it removed the pig upon the recommendation of a vet and attempted to find suitable housing for him on another site.
The school said Marmite was too aggressive and claimed a vet recommended the animal be removed.
Both parties claim they have documentation proving legal ownership of the pig, which is now being disputed.
Headteacher Mike Fairclough said: “After a few weeks the new pig became extremely aggressive and attacked our two other pigs. It also bit the site manager and tried to bite a child.
“We contacted our vet and were advised to remove the pig from our site for the health and safety of the children and the other animals.
“The previous owners were contacted by the school to notify them of this development, but at no point did they offer to have it back or to help rehouse it.
“Our farm manager approached as many local farms as possible to rehouse the pig, but nobody wanted it because it was a boar.”
If it wasn’t for the slaughterhouse ending – which would surely have to be changed – there could almost be a new Disney film in this but perhaps it is a warning to other schools when entering into arrangements over animals? Please let us know what you think or share any related stories you have concerning animals at school in the comments or via Twitter…