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An animal-friendly version of Big Brother is to be launched on the Internet in September.

Pig Brother will follow the antics of five hogs in their pen in Somerset thanks to 24-hour surveillance provided by three Webcams - Sty Cam, Trough Cam and Pond Cam.

In a similar format to the Big Brother TV show, surfers will be asked to vote out their least favourite trottered contestant at the end of each week.

But the pigs in cyberspace escapade has a serious political element to it. For every surfer who calls the Pig Brother Hotline to evict one of the animals - named Blair, Beckett, Brown, Widdecombe and Portillo - 20 pence will be donated to the Farmers in Crisis Appeal.

This money will go to farmers hit by the Foot and Mouth crisis.

A trailer for the show, along with images of the contestants, can be found here. This includes a particularly flattering picture of Widdecombe.

And don't panic, the pigs voted out will not be sent to the great sausage factory in the sky immediately. According to farmer Richard Counsell, who is running the event, those evicted will be safely returned to the orchard on his organic farm. ®

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