Pigs out-sty their welcome at Julie’s

Joel and Steve Whitaker and Julie and Rebekah Mackenzie with the pigs at Highbury School, Rastrick.
Joel and Steve Whitaker and Julie and Rebekah Mackenzie with the pigs at Highbury School, Rastrick.

Two pigs trotted-off from a school playing field and wreaked a weekend of havoc on female residents who rescued the boars.

Flakey and Pastey are recent, and until now, secret additions to Highbury School, Brighouse.

But, it seems the boars did not want to stay in their school pen any longer.

On Saturday afternoon, the male pigs escaped the field and were seen trotting along Highfield Road before local residents ushered the pair to safety - into the garden of Julie Mackenzie, 51, and her 21-year-old pregnant daughter Rebekah.

From there on in it was pandemonium at Julie’s groundfloor flat.

“It was bedlam. The pigs ran inside and grabbed the dog’s biscuits. The dog was up the wall with all the commotion and the cat left home - we were ready for leaving too.”

But nobody could save their bacon.

Julie called the police and the RSPCA who told her she would require a vet’s licence to get them removed and this could only be obtained if the animals were injured or dying and were asked if they could keep them overnight.

“We felt no one was helping to sort the situation. We were up all night on Saturday with the commotion.

“Sunday wasn’t so bad as we cleared out the coal bunker - they were as happy as pigs in muck in there.”

The spotted guests remained with them until Monday morning when a frantic school caretaker, Steve Whittaker, found them and with the help of Julie, Rebekah, and a box of cornflakes, guided them back to school.

“We were so relieved when Steve came along. By that time we didn’t know what else to. An RSPCA inspector came after the pigs had left on Monday, but that was just to assess the situation. We were frantic as my daughter is nine weeks pregnant and there was a real concern she might contract hepatitis E which can be fatal for pregnant women.”

Caretaker Steve Whitaker said: “I couldn’t believe it when they weren’t there - I searched frantically. I was so relieved when I found them. The pigs are supposed to be a surprise for pupils - we were hoping they’d be all settled in for September.”

A RSPCA spokesperson said: “We received a call on August 16 at 9.12pm from a member of the public who found two uninjured pigs on the street near her home. She was advised that legally an animal movement licence was required from DEFRA before the pigs could be taken away.

“When moving pigs, the public and the RSPCA must comply with the general licence for the movement of pigs, which is available from DEFRA. As the RSPCA were informed of the lost pig on Saturday evening we were unable to chase up a license out of hours, or on a Sunday - so there was an inevitable delay. We are sorry that the caller felt that the RSPCA had been slow to respond on this occasion.”