Pregnant pig escapes the chop after fleeing from farm near Ollerton before giving birth in woods

A pregnant pig destined for the chop has managed to escape from a farm – before giving birth to 10 piglets in woods near Ollerton.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 11:08 am

Anna Aston, 49, was left gobsmacked when she spotted the mum feeding her babies in the undergrowth as she walked her dog Puglsey on Monday.

She contacted Brinsley Animal Rescue after making the discovery and volunteers have since named her Matilda.

The charity is now appealing to a farmer to allow them to rehome the ‘Ollerton 11’ so they can avoid the fate of being slaughtered.

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A pregnant pig which was destined for slaughter has avoided the chop - after she escaped from a farm before giving birth in the woods near Ollerton. Photo: Alex Cousins/SWNS.
A pregnant pig which was destined for slaughter has avoided the chop - after she escaped from a farm before giving birth in the woods near Ollerton. Photo: Alex Cousins/SWNS.

Mum-of-two Anna says she hoped the farmer would now find the heart to spare them the chop after they ‘earnt their freedom’ thanks to Matilda's daring escape.

Anna said: "I was just walking near the woods on Monday evening when I heard something in the hedges which I knew immediately was quite big.

"I thought maybe it was another dog or a badger and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this pig and her piglets rustling around in the undergrowth.

"I knew they weren't wild boar; they just looked like ordinary pigs, which I thought wasn't normal.

"I walked on but couldn't get these pigs out of my mind and I was worried for their safety.

"I didn't realise there is a pig farm nearby and she must have escaped from there. It's incredible really that she went to such lengths to protect her babies.

"She deserves a safe and happy life with her little family and I think she has earned her freedom now.

"I hope the farmer has the heart now to allow the pig to be rehomed.”

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Jon Beresford, who runs the charity, said he would need permission from the farmer to remove the pig and her piglets – which are believed to be around three weeks old.

But he is hopeful of Nottinghamshire County Council allowing them to move the animals safety on welfare grounds if their pleas to the farmer fall on deaf ears.

They have dubbed the family the ‘Ollerton 11’ after the Tamworth Two – a pair of pigs that famously escaped while being unloaded from a lorry at an abattoir in WIltshire in 1998.

Jon believes Matilda's motherly instincts kicked in and she knew she had to get herself and her babies to safety to protect them.

He said: "We are now appealing to the farmer to let her be rescued by us as she has shown such bravery, determination and strong love for her babies.

"We think she has earnt her freedom now and it would be wrong to take her back to the abattoir.

"She also has a ring through her nose, which we consider cruel, because pigs use their noses to forage for food and upturn roots.

"She is in the wild and hasn't been able to find food, so we have been taking food up for her as she tends to her little piglets.

"We have been trying to contact the farmer without any joy so far so we may have to approach the animal department at the local authority.

"If they agree we can move her on welfare grounds or the farmer comes back to us and agrees – then we can save her from the chop.”

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