TWO male calves featured in recent Channel 4 documentary ’Meat the Family’ have found a home for life at an animal sanctuary near Chepstow.

The calves, now called Buttercup and Clover, were spared from slaughter by the Barry-based family of five who cared for them for three weeks - and they’ve since visited them in their new home at Dean Farm Trust.

Meat the Family challenged four families to make a big decision about their meat-eating habits. After three weeks caring for farm animals at home they had to choose if their animals were saved or placed in the food chain.

The family from Barry, who featured in the final episode of the four-part series, were the only one that opted to save their animals.

"We’ve had the calves here since May but had to keep it a secret until the show was screened last week," said Sam Clews, events and outreach organiser.

"The family involved is made up of mum and dad and their three teenaged children. The mother and one of the daughters were already committed vegetarians, while the dad and other two children were meat eaters.

"Taking part in the programme had a big impact on them. Now all three children are veggie and, although their dad still eats a little bit of meat, he says he’s learnt a lot about the importance of ethical and sustainable farming.

"They’ve been keeping in touch with us to see how the calves are getting on and paid us a visit last weekend!"

The 62-acre sanctuary near Shirenewton has 10 other male calves saved from the dairy industry, along with pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens, rabbits, ducks, ponies, sheep and donkeys.

Latest arrivals are two piglets linked to an animal abuse case in West Wales.

Last January a farm in Pembrokeshire was raided by police and the RSPCA, with 58 dogs, three goats, 20 horses, a donkey, 53 pigs and 80 sheep seized and four people charged with 78 counts of animal cruelty. Criminal proceedings are still ongoing.

The dogs were subsequently rehomed by the Dogs Trust, the horses by the RSPCA and the sheep and goats sold at market. But a destruction order was put on the pigs, because of the risk of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE). TSE is the same disease that affected cows in the 80s and 90s, also known as "mad cow disease", or BSE, in cows.

Pembroke County Council was concerned about the pigs entering the food chain but, thanks to tireless campaigning by Beneath the Wood sanctuary and countless supporters, agreed to allow their release to Beneath the Wood. The pigs then spent nine months in a Defra isolation unit.

"Unfortunately, as the pigs were not separated by sex or castrated, more lives were brought into the world," explained Mary Frankland, founder and director of Dean Farm Trust.

"We’re absolutely delighted to give two of these piglets a home for life. They’re four months old and while they were born to different mothers, have fast become brothers. We’ve named them Kit and Jesse, which means ’hope’ and ’blessing’.

"We’re so grateful to everyone who has campaigned to give these pigs a life of freedom - and that Kit and Jesse’s parents are also safe, at Beneath the Wood."

For information on guided visits and open afternoons held at Dean Farm Trust please visit the events and tours section of the charity’s website.