Mobile butchers mistakenly kill family’s pet pigs in Washington state

A family in Washington state says a mobile butcher mistakenly slaughtered their pet pigs recently after showing up to the wrong address.

Security camera footage showed an unknown truck pulling up to the home of the family in question when they were not there on 1 May. One of the employees of the family’s farm, who was sent to check on their home, informed them that someone had shot the pigs.

“Both Patty and Betty were laying in a big pool of blood, and a mess, and one of them had shackles on her,” the pigs’ owner, Nathan Gray, told local news station KIRO 7.

Gray and his wife, Natalie, adopted the pigs in 2022 to join their other pets, including cats, dogs, ducks and a chicken.

“They were adorable. They were so cute. They were the size of a small little dog,” Natalie Gray told the local news station. “We haven’t had them before. By not eating meat, I heard they were just like dogs and super fun to have, and I wanted my girls to have pigs.”

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A Kitsap County family is outraged after they say their pet pigs were slaughtered after a butcher business got the wrong address. The changes they’re fighting for to make sure no other family will have to bury their beloved pets under these circumstances on @kiro7seattle at 5 pm. pic.twitter.com/0DC1YIgJnw

&mdash; Louie Tran (@louie_tran) May 10, 2024

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A Kitsap County family is outraged after they say their pet pigs were slaughtered after a butcher business got the wrong address. The changes they’re fighting for to make sure no other family will have to bury their beloved pets under these circumstances on @kiro7seattle at 5 pm. pic.twitter.com/0DC1YIgJnw

— Louie Tran (@louie_tran) May 10, 2024

The Grays said they reported the killings to the local sheriff’s office. An attorney for the family told the BBC that the “law treats Betty and Patty no differently than if they were golden retrievers or Norwegian forest cats”, and it is a serious crime to intentionally injure an animal without legal justification.

Some butcher companies offer mobile slaughtering services for farmers who don’t want to haul their animals to a larger facility.

Nathan Gray said the mobile butcher told him the GPS navigator used by the company “screwed up”. It also asked him if he wanted the pigs to be processed.

“They’ll be buried on this property, like the rest of our animals,” Gray told the BBC.

He said the butcher told him the employees were told to go to a house with nobody home.

“That seems to be the protocol for this sort of thing,” he told KIRO 7, adding that the pigs were shot close to their neighbor’s fence, potentially endangering other animals close by.

The Grays are advocating for more safety protocols for mobile butchers, saying that if they are bringing firearms on to someone’s property, the person should be home.

“There needs to be better protection for people like me and my family,” Natalie Gray said. “To not have this happen again. Someone needs to be home. There needs to be boxes checked instead of coming to your house and kill[ing] an animal without someone there.”

The Guardian