Ystalyfera pig1A LONELY micro-pig is settling into his new home in the Gower.

It was on 12 January that a male micro-pig was found in Ystalyfera in a garden on Wern Road.

RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper said she feared that he may have been one of the first victims of an unwanted Christmas present.

As a temporary measure the micro-pig was looked after by a vet, but he kept trying to break into a sheep pen – it was thought it was because he was lonely.

RSPCA Cymru launched an appeal to find him a suitable long-term home on a smallholding or farm.

Following the successful appeal – scores of kindhearted people came forward offering the micro-pig a suitable home.

Inspector Cooper said: “We would like to thank everyone who expressed an interested in rehoming the micro-pig. We had 26 offers in total.

“He has now been taken to his new home at Gower Fresh Christmas Trees in Three Crosses and he is settling in well.

“We will be keeping in contact with them to check his progress. We are not sure how micro he is – as he has doubled in size over the past two weeks!”

Katharine Morgan from from Gower Fresh Christmas Trees said: “He is getting the know the other piglets and they are getting quite friendly now. New home1

“He is settling in really well. We are really happy to be able to look after him. We have to think up a name for him now.”

The RSPCA continues to remind people that pigs are not appropriate pets, due to their very specific needs.

Micro and mini-pigs have very specific welfare needs that must be met to keep them happy and healthy. For example, all pigs have a strong desire to root, which means they need continual access to suitable areas for rooting, otherwise they can become destructive.

Being small may make it difficult for micro and mini- pigs to keep warm, so they must always have access to a suitable shelter that includes a comfortable, dry lying area and appropriate bedding. Without a stimulating environment, micro and mini-pigs are highly likely to show negative behaviours, such as stereotypic behaviour (behaviours that are repeated without an obvious
purpose).

Micro and mini-pigs need to be housed in social groups with other friendly, similar-sized pigs, not
only because they are social herd animals but also because they can become aggressive to their owners if housed alone.New home 2

Under the Animal Welfare Act, 2006, pet owners are legally required to meet the needs of their
animals. Due to their complex needs, the RSPCA is concerned about how well micro- and mini-pigs can be cared for by non-specialist keepers.

Before getting any pigs it is important you consider if you have the time, resources, commitment, knowledge and facilities to care for them.

Whilst piglets may look cute, even miniature breeds (for example the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig) soon grow up to weigh 35 to 70 kilogrammes (over 150 kilogrammes if overfed). Other breeds will grow as large as a commercially farmed pig i.e. 200 to 300 kilogrammes, sometimes more.

Whilst some pigs have a very good temperament others should be handled with care.

Whether you keep one pig as a pet or a commercial herd you need to follow certain rules regarding the identification of your animal. The Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) (Wales) Order (PRIMO) legislation changed on 25 November 2011.

For more information visit http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/farm/farmanimals/pigs