'Babe' Saved But No Star After All

updated 06/22/2001 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/1997 12:00AM

Grunty the pig, 6, sidestepped the slaughterhouse on Thursday in England, when a High Court judge ruled that the show-biz sow did not pose a threat to Britain's efforts to end a livestock epidemic. Grunty was living happily as a pet on a farm in southwest England until this recent incident, in which the animal was condemned as part of the current foot-and-mouth disease scare. Justice Michael Harrison denied a government request for an injunction that would have forced Grunty's owner, Rosemary Upton, to allow hog henchman onto her property. "I am so jubilant I just can't describe it -- it is wonderful news," Upton told reporters from her farm in Wellington. "Grunty is blissfully unaware of everything that goes on in the human world, but she seems very happy." But there is a clarification to be made. Initial reports said that Grunty, a New Zealand Kune Kune pig, had played the lead role in the hit 1995 movie "Babe." Not true. But the pig reportedly did achieve a measure of fame when she starred on British TV's "Pig at the Ritz."

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