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Hot Dog Buns Used to Fight Vermont Town's Pig Problem

The farmer's fine reportedly stands at $82K
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2019 8:09 AM CDT
Scores of Escaped Pigs Lured Back With Hot Dog Buns
A pig that escaped from a Vermont farm walks along a road in Orange, Vt, on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. Farmer Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm says most of the 250 pigs that escaped earlier this month are back and the fence, which he said was damaged by vandals, has been fixed.   (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

About 250 pigs have been causing a ruckus in a Vermont town after they escaped from their enclosure weeks ago, but most of them had been returned as of Thursday thanks in part to a trail of hot dog buns and good ol' fashioned corralling. "What [the buns do] is train them to come in," Farmer Walter Jeffries told NECN Wednesday. "And then we can herd them—and pigs herd really well." Several farm workers and a couple of volunteers who heard about the loose pigs trudged up and down the dirt road hill Thursday trying to drive any pigs back into the Sugar Mountain Farm in Orange, reports the AP. They chased the animals into the brush, and ditches, working together to position themselves so that they could corral the large sows and boars, which frequently got away. Jeffries said Thursday that about 99% of the pigs were back.

Earlier in the day, Town Clerk Angela Eastman said she spotted 16 pigs in the town right of way. A town official checks daily, counting and taking photos of the animals. Jeffries faces a fine based on the number of pigs in the right-of way, a penalty that he says he will contest. As of Thursday the fine stood at $81,955, Eastman said, adding, "Cars are unable to pass, people can't walk on the road because the pigs chase them." Jeffries said he believes the fence enclosure was damaged by vandalism on Aug. 11, allowing about 50 adult pigs and 200 piglets to escape. He thinks it was the work of a former employee and said he reported it to the police. Jeffries said his outdoor farm manager then got injured and wasn't able to repair the fencing; it has since been fixed.

(More pigs stories.)

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