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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters Life!) - This little piggy went to market -- to pay off a Russian woman's overdue debt to a bank.
Court officers in far eastern Russia have seized a piglet from a woman who owes a bank 13,000 roubles ($432) and put it up for sale to recuperate some of the money, the regional branch of the Federal Bailiffs Service said on Thursday.
The woman had been given the seven-month-old piglet for safekeeping, but it was taken away after a court survey of her property found it to be her most valuable possession, the bailiffs service said in a statement.
The piglet was seized after the woman failed to comply with a court order to pay off her debt within 10 days, it said.
Consumer debt in Russia has crippled local economies in some of the country's poor rural and industrial areas, which have been hardest hit by the economic crisis that followed nearly a decade of rising living standards.
A piglet could fetch around 10,000 roubles in Primorye, a Pacific Coast region whose capital is Vladivostok.
"At the moment it is awaiting a buyer," the bailiff's service said.
Reporting by Alexei Chernyshov; writing by Thomas Grove; editing by Steve Gutterman and Steve Addison