Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Loose pigs on motorway rounded up


About 12 animals escaped from the vehicle and grazed on the grass embankment

A herd of pigs that escaped on to a motorway in Essex after the lorry carrying them crashed have been rounded up and taken to an abattoir.

The emergency services and the RSPCA were called to the scene on the M11 between Harlow and the Stansted Airport junction at Bishop's Stortford.

Both carriageways were closed for about 10 hours while 78 pigs were rounded up and transferred to other lorries.

The RSPCA said four seriously injured pigs had to be put down at the scene.

Firefighters and police made a makeshift pen to secure the animals as they were caught after the crash at about 0445 GMT.

Pigs crash on M11
The lorry overturned on the M11 and four pigs were seriously injured

The lorry struck the central reservation and overturned on the southbound carriageway near Sheering, an Essex police spokesman said.

"About 60 to 70 pigs were trapped in the wreckage and another dozen or so escaped.

"All the animals have now been transferred to other lorries and have been taken to their intended destination in the Brentwood area."

The motorway was closed north and southbound between junctions 8 at Stansted and 7 at Harlow for the recovery of the animals and the lorry as well as for repairs to the central reservation.

The lorry driver received head and shoulder injuries in the collision and was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

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