Page last updated at 21:27 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Farm pig apes dog agility tricks

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Sue the pig has learnt to respond to commands like a well-trained border collie.

A farm owner in Herefordshire has attracted comparisons with the film Babe after teaching her pig to perform agility tasks like a dog.

Unlike the character in Babe, Sue the boar can not round-up sheep, but he can respond to commands like a well trained border collie, his owner said.

Wendy Scudamore, of Barton Hill Animal Centre in Hereford said Sue began copying her dog in agility training.

She said he would "never be a sheep-pig" but hoped he entertained people.

Mocking name

Mrs Scudamore said Sue was reared to be a breeding pig but was named after the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue" owing to an unfortunate incident at the vets aged two months when he was accidentally castrated.

She said: "I don't usually name my pigs until they grow a bit older and develop a character but I thought it would be funny to call him Sue after that."

Mrs Scudamore breeds New Zealand Kuni Kuni pigs and said she hoped Sue would be an amusing attraction to draw people to her stand at country shows.

She trains him for up to 15 minutes at a time in the back garden and rewards him with little pieces of apple and occasionally, his favourite treats, custard creams.



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