A pet pig was sent to slaughter by a school sparking a bitter dispute with the owners.
The black boar called Marmite, who was almost a year old, was sent to West Rise Junior School to join the rest of their animals after his owner, Ria Dell, 21, from Eastbourne, said he was getting “lonely”.
Ms Dell had been given Marmite for her birthday in July last year and raised him as a pet before putting him into what she understood to be a “boarding agreement” with the school.
Marmite was placed into a pen with another group of pigs in January but two months later he was dead.
Ms Dell said she was visiting the pig three times a week until he disappeared from the school.
After numerous phone calls Ms Dell discovered Marmite had been sent to slaughter at Tottingworth Farm in Broad Oak.
She said: “He was a pet, he wasn’t livestock. Imagine what it would be like to have that happen to your dog.
“He would come when you called his name, he would sit in my lap for cuddles and he would give kisses.
“When I found out I |was devastated. I couldn’t believe it and I was just screaming.”
It has been reported the school said the pig was slaughtered due to the fact he was too aggressive to be integrated with the rest of their animals and bit the school’s site manager and attempted to bite a child.
The school also says it removed him upon the recommendation of a vet and attempted to find suitable housing for him on another site. It also claims legal ownership of the pig.
But Lisa Dell, Ria’s mother, said: “He was our baby. We loved him to pieces and we were just trying to do what was best for him.”
Both parties have claims on Marmite based on paperwork, with the school saying the General License for the Movement of Pigs form, which it received before moving Marmite to Tottingworth Farm, lists it as owner.
Ms Dell and her family, on the other hand, claim the Animal Health Registration document which they have for Marmite shows they are the rightful owners.
A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson confirmed the General Licence for the Movement of Pigs form was for movement only, not ownership.