State agents from the Animal Welfare Program raided Ireland Hill Farms on Wednesday and exhumed the remains of three buried pigs as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged animal neglect, the Bangor Daily News reported.

According to the BDN, the agents wore bulletproof vests and were backed up by two state police troopers. Liam Hughes, director of the state's Animal Welfare Program, told the BDN the agency was investigating the neglect of animals but did not indicate why the state was involved, rather than a local animal control officer. Hughes did not immediately return a phone message left with a person at his office Thursday.

The agents on Wednesday used a backhoe and shovels to dig on the property and removed carcasses of three pigs that had been buried there, the BDN reported.

Ireland Hill Farms is owned by Jerry and Emily Ireland. Jerry Ireland is an Army veteran and chief executive officer of United Farmer Veterans of Maine. He is currently a candidate for House District 98 in the Maine Legislature.

Reached by phone March 29, Ireland declined to comment.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article misidentified the farmer veterans program of which Jerry Ireland is CEO.