Representatives of Britain's rural community are growing increasingly concerned about the growing level of violence between the nation's bird and pig communities, after a spate of egg-stealing by a small antisocial porcine minority sparked a wave of vigilante reprisals from swiftly-organised bird groups.
While isolated incidents of egg-stealing have been confirmed, the scale of the retribution has been for many, hard to swallow. "We knew the local pigs were no angels," said a witness to a recent 'birding', "But I was shocked to see this cocky group of lads turn up with a catapult and start hurling themselves at the pigs' houses until there was a major structural failure and everyone was dead - bit over the top, I thought."
"I'd be angry too, frankly," admitted Devon Chief Constable Steven Otter. "But you have to remember that these knee-jerk reprisals indiscriminately target pigs regardless of actual guilt, and what might seem a harmless game spills over into the realm of hate crime. My officers are keen to assist, and if any egg thefts are reported, they will be scrambled immediately."
Sociologists have spoken out against what they see as the blanket demonisation of a whole stratum of society. "We're not saying that the porcine community is entirely blameless," explained Brian Renfrew of the University of Surrey, "Whenever you get two disparate groups sharing the same space, there are going to be cultural misunderstandings, racial tension and widespread egg theft - but you have to look at the conditions these so-called 'pigs' face. They live huddled together in some of the most unsafe housing we've ever seen - many reside in rickety wooden structures, others live with the constant threat of large rocks balanced precariously above them, or even cohabit with lethal crates of explosive - no wonder many are quite literally green with stress."
Chief Constable Otter remains confident that if representatives of the feuding communities can be brought together, understanding can be reached. "I won't be satisfied until I can bring both sides together round the table," he explained. "There's nothing here that can't be sorted out over a full English breakfast..."