Firefighters in Wiltshire have apologised on Facebook after eating sausages from pigs they saved in a farm blaze.
Farmer Rachel Rivers thanked the firefighters for rescuing her piglets and sows in February 2017 by serving up the animals as sausages six months later.
The firefighters enjoyed the "fantastic" sausages during a barbecue - but their review on the Pewsey Fire Station Facebook page was met by a vegetarian backlash.
The post has since been taken down.
It said: "Exactly six months and one day since firefighters rescued 18 piglets from a fire, we got to sample the fruits of our labours from that February night.
"Huge thank you to Rachel Rivers for dropping them off for us to sample. Highly recommended by Pewsey fire station crew and if any one of our followers is having a bank holiday BBQ this weekend then check out these sausages, they are fantastic."
The firemen later apologised in a message saying: "In regard to a recent post on this page. We recognise that this has caused offence to some, we apologise for this and as such have removed the post."
Mrs Rivers told the BBC: "I’m sure vegetarians will hate this. I wanted to thank them. I promised them at the time I’d bring down some sausages for them, which they were all pleased about.
"We farm and this is what we do. You can’t keep them as pets."
Mimi Bekhechi, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), said: "These poor piglets were no better off for escaping the fire only to be put back into it six months later after being subjected to the horrifying experience of the abattoir.
"What if these firefighters had ’saved’ a human child or a dog? Pigs feel fear and pain in just the same way as they do.
"We’ll be sending Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service packs of Linda McCartney vegan sausages so that they can see how easy it is to truly be heroes for pigs - by sparing them all suffering."
However, social media users have leapt to the defence of the firemen on Facebook.
Sam Webb posted: "Can’t believe the stick you guys are getting. I hope you enjoyed the sausages and ignore all negative comments. Surely they understand they were destined for meat and it was better to be humanely slaughtered at an appropriate age rather than burning to death?"
Martyn Shaftoe wrote: "What utter tosh! Why does everyone in the world have to bow down and apologise to the lowest common denominator? Just because some were offended doesn’t mean they are right. Why apologise? You’ve done nothing wrong."