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Pig kicks up stink

Mitchell Shire Council criticised over pound conditions, but has concerns of its own.

CHALPAT SONTI April 9, 2014 3:26am

The pig in its pen at the Mitchell Shire Council pound in Broadford recently.


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The treatment of a pig at the Mitchell Shire Council pound has kicked up a bit of a stink.

Broadford resident Ben Longden was exercising his dog on Broadford common recently when he saw what he described as a ‘‘stressed’’ pig at the pound.

‘‘We investigated and found the friendly young sow had no water to drink,’’ he said.

‘‘We also noticed that there was no self-filling water trough nearby and that she was entirely reliant on a tipped over bathtub for drinking water. The tub was full of sticky mud and had no plug to retain water.

‘‘We also noted that she had no food. While we gave her water and food we contacted the shire only to receive the answering service. While we were on the phone she drank at least 5litres.

‘‘We fed and watered her the next day and found out from a nearby resident the sow had been there several days and that she had noticed council staff throw water into the muddy bathtub.’’

Mr Longden said the council was supposed to lead by example, but this was ‘‘a poor example of animal care’’ and he had reported it to the RSPCA.

But Mitchell Shire Council has concerns of its own.

Corporate services director Tammi Rose said someone had interfered with other livestock over that weekend by opening all of the internal gates within the livestock yard, allowing all impounded livestock to intermingle.

‘‘Apart from the immediate danger to the person concerned, because there is currently a bull impounded, concern is raised as all livestock must be contained separately for their own health and wellbeing,’’ she said.

‘‘It should also be noted that it is an offence to interfere with livestock impounded by council under the Impounding of Livestock Act 1994 attracting a maximum penalty of ($2880).’’

The pig was initially found in the Wandong area, either abandoned or lost, Ms Rose said.

‘‘On several occasions since the pig’s arrival at the livestock pound buckets have been in place for water, but the sow enjoys stepping into and muddying up the water and has destroyed the buckets.’’

A resident contacted the council through its Facebook page on the day after Mr Longden saw the pig, in regards to the water.

Ms Rose said the council was concerned that residents/passers-by claim to be feeding the pig, ‘‘but we are concerned that the food provided may not be suitable for the health and wellbeing of the pig’’.

Officers were investigating a new style of containers and had responded by implementing heavy-duty recycled rubber tyre buckets to hold water to minimise the opportunity for the sow to soil it.

Officers also engaged Edgars Mission to hold the sow for the duration of her statutory stay with the council and she was relocated on Thursday.

The council had a pound attendant for the care of impounded animals daily. Officers also attended if further attention was required.

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