Butchers mistakenly kill US couple's pet pigs

A pink pig looks off into the distance
Two pet pigs in Washington state were killed after a mobile butchering business went to the wrong address. [Getty Images]

A couple in Washington state say a mobile butchering company slaughtered their two pet pigs after mistaking their home for a different address.

The pigs Betty and Patty were shot in their pen while the couple were not at home, they told a local news channel.

"I'm just in disbelief and angry that somebody can come on my property and do that," owner Nathan Gray said.

Police tell BBC News that they took a report of the incident and have alerted the local prosecutor's office.

The couple, who live in the city of Port Orchard, told the station they returned home on 1 May to find their pets in the process of being butchered. Their home CCTV system alerted them to an unknown truck on their property.

Mr Gray told Seattle news station King-TV that one of his employees approached him and said: "These guys shot your pigs."

"I came around the corner, and both Patty and Betty were in the pen dead," said Natalie Gray.

"They were never meant to be slaughtered," she said. "They were meant to be pets."

Mr Gray said one of the butchers told him he thought they had visited the property before "and his GPS must have screwed up".

"They didn't even knock on the door," he added. "It's just insane."

The pigs, nicknamed "Fatty Patty" and "Big Betty" , enjoyed chasing their daughters and playing in the mud and were expected to live their entire lives at their Gray Acres Farm, the couple said.

The Grays now want to ensure that this never happens again, and hope to change the laws that regulate mobile butchering.

"Bottom line is, if somebody is going to come on your property with a firearm and kill your animal, you should be home," Mr Gray said.

A spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, which oversees butchering regulations, told King-TV that they were not aware of the allegation.

They said this is not something they would normally inspect.

"The issue doesn't sound like it was related to unsanitary practices, equipment issues, failure to affix ID tags, etc, which are things that we could cite a business for failing to comply with," the official said.

A lawyer for the couple, Adam Karp, told the station that "the law treats Betty and Patty no differently than if were they Golden Retrievers or Norwegian Forest Cats".

Despite being legally classified as "livestock", he said that it is a serious crime to intentionally cause injury to any animal without legal justification, and that the butcher may be civilly liable for the offense of theft of livestock.