Accidental mistreatment of a trendy micro pig by a well-meaning pensioner has seen the animal placed in quarantine and a government investigation launched, Kent Online has reported.
The pig was given to a Dartford woman on her 65th birthday, but it has since emerged that the breeder gave her catastrophically wrong information about how to feed it.
The pensioner had been giving the animal salted popcorn and dog food for some time, and eventually called Artisan Rarebreeds for help, who promptly took the pig into their sanctuary.
"The pet owner was distressed she had to let the pig go, but they were completely misinformed about its care," said Wayne May from Artisan Rarebreeds.
"Regardless of size, these animals are still domestic livestock, and should be kept in conditions fit for a farm animal. They should not be kept as household pets," he stressed.
"Dog food should never be fed to a pig, nor should salted items because pigs cannot sweat. It becomes a serious welfare issue."
Micro pigs have received a boost in popularity off the back of celebrity owners such as the Beckhams and Harry Potter star Rupert Grint. However, the animals must be registered.
The Department for Food and Rural Affairs is now investigating the sale of the animal, pointing out that keeping pigs in domestic settings has the potential to spread disease.