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The NFU has praised a web-site which imitates the popular Big Brother television programme and is set to raise thousands of pounds for the Supporting Farmers in Crisis fund.

The interactive web-site* Pig Brother is the brainwave of Somerset Organics, and will raise funds when viewers vote out the pigs either online or by ringing a special telephone number. Alternatively, bets can be placed with William Hill the bookmaker.

Twenty pence from every telephone vote and all the profits from the online betting will go to the Crisis fund.

NFU President Ben Gill said: "After the amazing success of the television programme this is going to be a fun way of earning money and is likely to grab the attention of many people.

"This money will help some farmers who have not received any income for months and provide crucial funds until their businesses are up and running again."

The voting will begin on 1 September when viewers can vote out a pig per week from the sty.

*The site to follow Pig Brother is

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