13 April 2000
Pig protestors deny telling porkies

By Isabel Davies

PIG farmers have rubbished a suggestion by the leader of the House of Commons that Winnie the pig is a series of individual porkers, rather than one sow.

Margaret Beckett told MPs that the farmers protest at Westminster was manned by pigs working shifts and not one single pig.

She told the House: “I fear you are nurturing an illusion – there may be a Winnie the pig, but there are a substantial number.

“The pigs in fact are working shifts.”

But Hugh Crabtree, campaign co-ordinator for the National Pig Association, said he could categorically confirm that there was only one Winnie.

“If we looked at photographs, we could pick out the eartag number and we could prove it,” he told Farmers Weekly.

Mr Crabtree confirmed there had only been two pigs at the vigil since it began at the start of February – Winnie and her predecessor Cherie.

Although Winnie had been moved out of Parliament Square twice at the request of the police, she had been returned within a matter of hours, he said.