Aug 23

Firefighters eat sausages made of piglets they saved from blaze

Farmer sends gift of sausages to thank Wiltshire firefighters who rescued piglets and two sows from fire in barn

The Guardian

A farmer whose piglets were saved from a barn fire has served the animals up as sausages to thank the firefighters who rescued them.

The baby pigs and two sows were freed by firefighters from Pewsey in Wiltshire when a barn went up in flames in February.

The farmer, Rachel Rivers, promised she would present the firefighters with organic sausages when the animals were slaughtered for their meat. Six months later she did just that and the firefighters cooked the bangers on a barbecue.

However, the farmer and firefighters have faced criticism from some who have found the arrangement a little queasy.

Rivers, who farms near Pewsey, accepted that some vegetarians and animal rights campaigners would not be happy. But she said: “This was just a token gesture to the fire service. They were over the moon with them.

“This is just what we do – we are not an animal sanctuary. We give the pigs the best opportunity and the best life they could have for six months.

“They won’t be kept inside; they are outdoors and fed with organic food which is grown on the farm.”

The piglets were just two weeks old when firefighters saved their bacon and they were turned into sausages after being fattened up. Rivers said: “At the time I told [the firefighters] I would give them the sausages.”

After the fire, the Pewsey watch manager Mark Hillier said: “When we arrived at the scene shortly before 10pm, half of the barn was on fire, with the pigs sheltering in the corner on the other side.