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Pigs to be spared from the chop

As one of the Tamworth Two was cornered in a Wiltshire garden last night, their owner relented and announced that he was willing to cut a deal with anyone who wanted to adopt his pigs.

As darkness fell, three police officers and an RSPCA inspector were trying to round up the fugitive, but the whereabouts of his partner was still unknown.

The pigs' owner, Arnoldo Dijulio, had insisted that once the five-month- old boars were apprehended he would see that they were taken back to the slaugherhouse, but yesterday he said: "If somebody makes an offer to me then I can sell the pigs and they can take them off my hands." Had they met their intended fate they would have fetched pounds 40 each; their celebrity status means they could now be worth much more.

As the fugitives entered their second week of freedom, Mr Dijulio was being inundated with offers of sanctuary. "They have been ringing my work, ringing up from London and sending a helicopter," he said.

The eight-stone pigs have been nicknamed Fred and Ginger by local residents in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, "because they had to have performed some pretty fancy footwork to have escaped the butcher's knife".