An animal sanctuary in Coxhead, near Tregaron, that saved more than 50 pigs from a court order to cull them, has been recognised for its dedication to fighting for animal welfare.

Sasha Bennet received the Action for Animals award from vegan charity Viva!

Sasha received the award from Viva! patrons Peter Egan and Jerome Flynn.

Sasha opened Beneath the Wood Sanctuary in 2009, and the sanctuary currently houses lambs, sheep, pigs, a couple of horses and eight dogs.

The sanctuary was involved in the high-profile case at the start of the year when 53 pigs were rescued from Bramble Hall Farm in Pembrokeshire due to an alleged illegal slaughterhouse being operated on the premises.

Pembrokeshire County Council obtained a destruction order for the 53 pigs saying there was a risk they may have consumed dead animals on the farm and therefore possibly contracted Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE).

This disease is similar to the disease prevalent in cows in the ’80s and ’90s, BSE.

But this order was successfully challenged by Beneath the Wood Sanctuary and Advocates for Animals, and the pigs were rescued and are now cared for by the sanctuary.

Sasha said: “I was overwhelmed to receive this award and it was a complete surprise.”