Pigs on the loose plague Vermont town

Published: Aug. 27, 2019 at 5:46 PM EDT
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Chaos at a Central Vermont pig farm where dozens of pigs are running rampant on a town road.

WCAX News got a tip from a concerned resident. Our Adam Sullivan went there Tuesday and was surprised by what he found.

If you happen to be driving on the Riddle Pond Road in East Orange, keep your eyes peeled because there are currently dozens of sows and piglets on the loose.

Town officials say upward of 100 pigs were spotted on the road 12 days ago. Many have been rounded up but dozens more are still wandering all over the road.

The pigs apparently escaped from the Sugar Mountain Farm after the owner of the farm says someone damaged the fencing.

We have not been able to confirm that but Vermont state police did tell us that they have been out to the property multiple times over the past several weeks.

Town officials are now pleading for help. They say they have been issuing civil tickets to the farmer which total in excess of $68,000 but the pig problem persists.

"We can issue the civil ticket to him. We have no further control. The state and the federal government and the state police need to take action to control this situation of loose pigs in Orange," Orange Town Clerk Angela Eastman said. "It's out of our jurisdiction. We don't have any control over this. We don't have any way to contain the pigs. We have no way to remove the pigs."

State agriculture employees say the agency is working with federal officials to explore all options to rectify the situation. They say they understand it's a safety issue and also want to ensure the animals' safety. The state is currently working with the farmer on an action plan.

The farmer, Walter Jefferies, declined to speak with WCAX on camera but he did say he is doing his best to get all the animals back in their pens.

But we have also learned this is not the first time the pigs have broken loose. Town officials say a similar incident happened last year and the pigs damaged nearby properties.