It took seven fire crews from across Northern Ireland almost nine hours to save 10 pigs that fell into a slurry tank in Coagh.
The operation, which took place on Wednesday, July 29, also employed two specialist Animal Rescue Teams from Omagh and Newcastle.
And whilst happy every one of the pigs was rescued, a local man has hit out at the cost to the public for “saving pigs that we are going to be eating in a few week’s time”.
He has also raised concerns over the number of crews that were deployed to the scene, questioning whether “there was cover for if a life was in danger?”
A spokesman for Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said: “NIFRS received a call at 2.45pm to a report of a number of livestock who had fallen into a slurry tank at the Littlebridge Road, Coagh area of Cookstown on Wednesday 29th July.
“Two Fire Appliances from Cookstown Fire Station, two Fire Appliances from Magherafelt Fire Station and one Fire Appliance from Omagh, Dungannon and Newcastle Fire Stations were deployed to the scene.
What was the cost of saving pigs that we are going to be eating in a few week’s time?
“Due to the challenging nature of this incident, specialist trained firefighters from the Animal Rescue Team (Omagh and Newcastle) and Specialist Rescue Team from Central Fire Station in Belfast were involved in the successful rescue of 10 pigs from the slurry pit.
“Firefighters identified a possible risk to the farmer who owned the property, as there was the potential the individual may have tried to save the animals himself without assistance from NIFRS personnel and this may well have endangered his own life.”
NIFRS are appealing to farmers to cover their slurry tanks properly.
See the full story in next week’s Mid Ulster Mail