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1st Ashes Test: Aussie spectator charged over pig incident

cricket Updated: Nov 22, 2013 15:49 IST

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A 33-year-old Australian has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly smuggling a live pig into the venue of the first Ashes cricket Test, police said Friday.

Police would not speculate on whether the pig was destined for release onto the playing field.

The Sydney Morning Herald suggested that 'Ash' was destined to run onto the Gabba field. There is speculation as to whether Ash had Stuart Broad's name written on it.

Security guards spotted the animal wrapped in a towel and transported in a baby harness during the first day's play between England and Australia on Thursday.

The Australian Associated Press reported that the pig's snout was taped shut so it couldn't squeal.

The RSPCA animal charity was handed custody of the distressed pig, called Ash and weighing 10-12 kilograms (22-26 pounds).

"There were thoughts it might not survive the night," RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said.

"It was really stressed out and dehydrated when it came in last night. It's just lying in a corner and not moving.

"It is not a happy pig at all."

'Ash' is believed to be a four-five month old domestic brown dwarf pig.

The incident comes three decades after a pig was famously smuggled in and freed with the names Botham and Eddie painted on its sides.

English all-rounder Ian Botham and off-spin bowler Eddie Hemmings were the scourge of Australian cricket in the summer of 1982-83.

The unnamed owner of Ash the pig is to appear in the northeastern city's Magistrates Court on December 12.