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THIS was the grisly scene after a pig was beheaded with an axe in a South Dublin garden.

Gardai and the DSPCA were called to the house after neighbours heard the animal's distressed squeals.

On arrival, the DSPCA Chief Inspector Liam Kinsella was greeted by the "horrific sight" of a large pig that had been slaughtered in the back garden of the detached house.

"Reports indicate the animal was in extreme distress and pain for a prolonged period of time," he said.

A team of gardai were already on the scene and an axe was embedded in a block of wood near by.

It is understood that a number of people have been questioned by gardai and that charges are expected to follow.