A vegan activist who removed a pig from a farm - in a bid to highlight the plight of farmed animals - has been spared jail.
Wesley Omar shared footage of himself removed the piglet from Belmont Farm in Leicestershire, last July. According to Omar, the animals were kept in 'filthy and cramped conditions with nothing to burrow in and just a little chain to play with'. After taking the pig, he played him Elvis to calm the animal down.
Judge Nicholas Dean QC sentenced Omar to a 12-month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to stealing the pig at Leicester Crown Court.
Wesley Omar's video showing him take the pig to the sanctuary
The judge described Omar as an 'intelligent young man', but added: "You are not entitled to commit criminal acts in the form of protest.
"You may feel you achieved something by the video being aired in this court and the publicity. Your acts were extremely childish."
According to the judge, because the conviction will affect future employment, it serves as a punishment.
Speaking outside court, Omar said: "The pig I took was grunting a bit in the car and needed calming down, so I put the radio on and it seemed to work. I wasn’t planning to steal him, it just happened at the last minute and I took the nearest pig – I couldn’t take them all.
"I know I broke the law, which was wrong, but at least I saved a life. I rang someone I knew at a sanctuary and took the pig straight there – I didn't take him home, my mother would have had a fit."
The pig - now named Wilbur - is now living at an animal sanctuary. His story went viral after vegan musician Moby shared a video of Omar visiting Wilbur.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.Reuse this content
Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
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