Firefighters sorry for feasting on pigs saved in barn blaze
Firefighters have apologised after feasting on pigs they saved from a barn blaze.
The piglets and two sows were freed by firefighters from Pewsey, Wiltshire, and were later served up to them as sausages as a thank-you from the farmer Rachel Rivers.
Six months later, she kept a promise to present the firefighters with sausages when the animals were slaughtered for their meat. The firefighters enjoyed the "fantastic" sausages during a barbecue - but this seems not to have been to the taste of some critics who spotted the tale on Facebook.
Pewsey fire station posted a review of the sausages on Facebook. It has since been taken offline.
It said: "Exactly six months and one day since firefighters rescued 18 piglets from a fire, we got to sample the fruits of our labours from that February night.
"Huge thank you to Rachel Rivers for dropping them off for us to sample. Highly recommended by Pewsey fire station crew and if any one of our followers is having a bank holiday BBQ this weekend then check out these sausages, they are fantastic."
The firemen later apologised in a message saying: "In regard to a recent post on this page. We recognise that this has caused offence to some, we apologise for this and as such have removed the post."
The firefighters had saved the pigs from a barn fire in February when 60 tonnes of hay went up in smoke,
Mrs Rivers told the BBC: "I'm sure vegetarians will hate this. I wanted to thank them. I promised them at the time I'd bring down some sausages for them, which they were all pleased about.
"We farm and this is what we do. You can't keep them as pets."
Mimi Bekhechi, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said: "These poor piglets were no better off for escaping the fire only to be put back into it six months later after being subjected to the horrifying experience of the abattoir.
"What if these firefighters had 'saved' a human child or a dog? Pigs feel fear and pain in just the same way as they do.
"When the emergency services rescue animals, Peta thanks them with vegan chocolates, not the animals' barbecued flesh.
"We'll be sending Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service packs of Linda McCartney vegan sausages so that they can see how easy it is to truly be heroes for pigs - by sparing them all suffering."
Hallam Britten, who was among those social media users who backed the firemen, wrote: "They are sausages, they come from pigs. It's been in the human diet for hundreds of thousands of years.
"Why do people feel the need to shove their dietary choices down everyone else's throats?
"We live in Wiltshire people, a rural county covered in farms.
"This is every day practice, if you don't like it, fine, don't want to eat it, fine."