January 31, 2019 2.05 pm This story is over 57 months old

Third man convicted over shocking pig abuse

They will be sentenced next month

A third man has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty offences in relation to the abuse of pigs at a Lincolnshire Farm.

As previously reported, Animal Equality UK campaigners released shocking undercover footage which shows pigs beaten and squealing in pain at Fir Tree farm near Barton-Upon-Humber.

In April and May 2018 Animal Equality filmed workers at the pig farm, who were kicking pigs in the face, jabbing them with pitchforks and slamming gates on their heads.

The undercover investigators had visited the firm after an anonymous tip-off. They uncovered repeated, deliberate violence by several workers.

A trio were charged with animal cruelty offences. Photo: Animal Equality

Guilty pleas

Artis Grogprkevs, 31, of Fir Tree Farm, Goxhill, and Troy Wagstaff, 30, of Chantry Lane, Grimsby both pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates Court in November 2018.

A third man Gavin Hardy, 39, of Greengate Lane, South Killingolme failed to appear at the court hearing that day.

He was in Grimsby Magistrates’ Court today (January 31), where he pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.

The men will be sentenced next month.

Pigs at the farm have been left with large scars. Photo: Animal Equality

Lack of inspections

A statement from Animal Equality UK said: “The case highlights the lack of independent, unannounced farm inspections in the UK, the absence of which leaves farmed animals vulnerable to abuse. Without the bravery of the whistleblower and our investigators, these workers would still be beating pigs at Fir Tree Farm today.

“Fir Tree Farm is owned by Elsham Linc – one of Britain’s biggest pig producers – and supplied large retailers including Tesco.

“Consumers concerned about cruelty like this taking place on factory farms can help put a stop to it by choosing from the variety of delicious plant-based alternatives now widely available in shops and restaurants across the UK.”

Other convictions

As a result of Animal Equality’s UK investigations six farm workers have now been convicted of cruelty.

A diary farm worker in Somerset received a 12-week suspended prison sentence in May 2017. This was after Animal Equality investigators filmed him violently abusing newborn calves and their mothers.

Two workers were filmed beating piglets to death with a metal bar on Harling Farm in Norfolk in 2012. Both men pleaded guilty to cruelty charges, with one was sent to prison for 18 weeks.