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Two Men Convicted of Pig Farm Cruelty

27 July 2012, at 12:59am

UK - Two men have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after footage was filmed of them beating pigs on a farm in Norfolk.

RSPCA Inspectors attended Harling Farm in East Harling on February 10 this year (2012) after being made aware of footage filmed by Animal Equality which showed pigs being abused.

Geoffrey Towell, 54 from East Harling, Norfolk pleaded guilty to five counts of cruelty to pigs and piglets, contrary to Animal Welfare Act 2006, by hitting five sows with plastic pipe - one 35 times - unlawfully killing three pigs by hitting them on the head with a metal bar and using unnecessary force to handle piglets,

He also pleaded one charge of failing to protect pigs from pain and suffering, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, by lifting pigs by the ears and dropping them from waist height.

James Dove, 27, from Wymondham in Norfolk pleaded guilty to two charges of cruelty by hitting sows with a plastic pipe and throwing pigs over a barrier - contrary to section four of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He also pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to protect pigs from suffering by lifting them with excessive force, lifting pigs by the ear and leg, dropping them to the ground and kicking them while moving them - contrary to section nine of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The two men appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court in Norfolk today (Thursday, July 26) and through their solictors they both express remorse for their actions. The case was adjourned for sentencing until August 17 at 2pm so probation reports can be prepared.

RSPCA Inspector Ben Kirby said: "We were appalled when we saw the footage of pigs being kicked, beaten and handled so cruelly. All animals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect - whether they are pets, wildlife or livestock.

"This has been a very sad case but we are pleased those responsible for this horrific cruelty have been brought before the courts and have guilty pleas have been entered."

He added: "The RSPCA is working very hard to improve welfare for the 900 million farm animals reared in the UK every year.

"These defendants not only broke the law but also let down all of those farmers and farm workers who care passionately about the welfare of their animals."

A third man had accepted a formal caution from the RSPCA.