LIVE pigs not fit for human consumption were being sold on the streets of southern Spain in December, police have revealed.
A suspect has been arrested after being found selling the animals in the Torreblanca neighborhood of Sevilla.
The man is accused of stealing the top quality Iberian pigs, used to make expensive Iberian Ham products, from a farm in nearby Dos Hermanas.
According to Policia Nacional, the alarm was first raised on December 15 when someone called the authorities to warn of two people selling live pigs on Calle Manzano.
A patrolman arrived at the scene to find a truck loaded with 10 pigs as the group of men handling the animals fled on foot.
A police search found three dead pigs while the rest were taken to the Municipal Zoosanitary Center.
Investigators quickly discovered the animals had been stolen from a farm next to Alcala de Guadaira after finding a broken fence.
The pigs had been treated with drugs and were not fit for human consumption, sparking fears of illness among those who may have consumed the meat.
Health protocols were enacted but a thorough investigation revealed zero cases.
The alleged ringleader has been arrested for robbery and crimes against public health.
He has a track record for property damage.