POLICE HAVE applied laws normally used to curb yobs in town centres to control a herd of runaway pigs.

The pigs, owned by Brian Hagan, trampled and uprooted crops in fields and gardens at Briston in Norfolk.

One neighbouring farmer was unable to sell his pedigree beef cattle over a three-month period because they were subject to a standstill order each time a stray pig entered his land.

Now though Mr Hagan has found himself subject to an antisocial behaviour order.

Police and environmental health officers used the legislation to prosecute Mr Hagan. It is thought to be the first time the legislation has been used in an agricultural setting.

Magistrates at Cromer imposed an interim antisocial behaviour order until Jan 10, when the court will consider a long-term order.

The conditions state that Mr Hagan cannot permit his pigs or geese, which he also keeps, to escape. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if he does not comply.

A spokeswoman for the North Norfolk Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership said the application for an ASBO had been an “inventive” use of the new legislation.