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For Animals, For Humans, For the Environment

Beneath the Woods Sanctuary


Beneath the Woods Sanctuary is a vegan-run animal sanctuary located in Ceredigion, Wales in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 2009 by Sasha Bennett with the mission of rescuing and providing a permanent home for abused, neglected, and discarded animals: dogs with behavioral issues, pigs, sheep, cats and horses.

The sanctuary provides a positive and supporting environment so that the animals can enjoy their life in safety. 


One of Beneath the Woods' most high-profile rescues was the "Pembrokeshire 53" pigs in 2019 - some pigs they successfully fought to save from a government destruction order through a 9-month legal battle. This allowed the sanctuary to greatly expand its pig population

Vegan Campaign Beneath the Woods Vegan Sanctuary


The Pembrokeshire 53

In early 2019, the vegan-run Beneath the Woods Sanctuary in Wales undertook what would become an epic and pivotal rescue mission - the largest successful effort to reverse a destruction order placed on farm animals in the UK. This involved a group of pigs that came to be known as the Pembrokeshire 53.

The pigs' plight began after a shocking government raid on the illegal Bramble Hall Farm slaughterhouse in Pembrokeshire. Authorities discovered appalling conditions, with over 200 animals found emaciated, starving, and many on the verge of death from neglect. While most animals were swiftly removed, the 53 pigs faced an even more dire fate - a destruction order. 

The reason? These pigs had been so severely deprived of food that they resorted to consuming inedible objects like bricks, debris, car tires, batteries and even car panels. This raised fears they may have contracted a pig version of mad cow disease called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). Despite TSE tests proving inconclusive, authorities initially ordered the 53 pigs to be euthanized as a precaution.

However, the dedicated team at Beneath the Woods refused to give up on saving them. They joined forces with the legal advocacy group Advocates for Animals to launch an arduous 9-month legal battle against the destruction order. Their efforts paid off on October 9th, 2019, when the sanctuary finally welcomed the Pembrokeshire 53 into their care - though the number had grown to 74 due to newborn piglets after months in inadequate government holding pens.

This hard-won rescue was a watershed moment for the sanctuary. With over 100 pigs now in their care, including the Pembrokeshire survivors, the financial costs for feed, bedding, shelters and round-the-clock care skyrocketed. But it also allowed Beneath the Woods to expand its mission of providing refuge for abused and neglected farm animals. 

The Pembrokeshire 53 saga represented an unprecedented legal victory against the default euthanasia policies for farm animals in the UK animal agriculture system. For Beneath the Woods, it was an epic battle that tested their resilience but ultimately allowed them to uphold their vegan principles of compassion.


How You Can Help

- Become a Pigoneer and help feed the rescued Pigs for as little as £2.50 per month - LINK

- Sponsor one of the rescued animals at the sanctuary from as little as £4.00 per month - LINK

- Try a "sheepover" in their camping pod with stunning views over the Teifi Valley and the Cambrian mountains - LINK


- Volunteer to help - LINK

- Shop for Beneath The Woods merchandise - LINK

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