- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2006

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A pair of beer-swilling pigs has embroiled an Australian pub in an animal cruelty debate.

Visitors to Pub in the Paddock in the island state of Tasmania are invited to pour bottles of beer down the willing throats of resident pigs Priscilla and P.B.

Pub owner Anne Free said Wednesday she was outraged that the tourist attraction was attacked as cruel in the latest edition of a magazine published by animal welfare group Choose Cruelty Free.

Miss Free said the pigs liked beer. She also watered down the beer to ensure they never became drunk.

“When it’s very, very quiet, I often actually have to go over and give them a couple of drinks because, yeah, they do look forward to it,” Miss Free told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

“I get quite irate when people come in and say: ‘Oh, is the pig inebriated?’ There’s no way that these pigs are being mistreated like that,” she added.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals often investigates complaints about the pigs’ drinking but have found the porkers unharmed.

“Whilst it is a difficult pill to swallow … it’s certainly not cruelty, unfortunately,” RSPCA state chief executive Rick Butler told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Choose Cruelty Free office manager Liz Jackson disagreed.

“It’s not natural to give a pig beer,” Miss Jackson told the Mercury newspaper.

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