SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Several pigs that were left four years ago on a small island within the California Delta have become the center of residents’ debate after an animal-rights group took them off the island.

The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/2rrcszq ) 10 people from Farm Sanctuary used a trailer and barge on Tuesday to ferry six pigs off the island under the land owner’s permission. Susie Coston, the group’s national shelter director, says the pigs were not in good health and were being mistreated, but residents in the area disagree.

Several boaters have been feeding the pigs and say on the island, the animals are truly “free.”

Delta boater Erlyn Lucas-Payne says the pigs were “stolen,” not “rescued.” But Coston says the pigs starved in the winter and were fed beer in the summer.

The pigs were taken to UC Davis for veterinary care.


Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com