#TheList Gavin Hardy, born 29/09/1979, of 18 Greengate Lane, Immingham DN40 3EZ, Troy Wagstaff, born 06/03/1988, of Willow House, Willow Close, Ulceby DN39 6UR, and Arturs Grigorjevs, born 02/11/1986, of 116 Weatherill Street, Goole DN14 6ED – relentlessly abused pigs by kicking them in the face and jabbing them with pitchforks; caught on camera slamming a gate into an animal’s head
Hardy, Wagstaff and Grigorjevs, former employees of Goxhill’s Fir Tree Farm, which is operated by Elsham Linc, all admitted causing unnecessary suffering to pigs.
The case was brought by the RSPCA following an undercover investigation by animal rights group Animal Equality.
Hidden cameras were put inside the farm and these uncovered horrific footage of abuse.
The main culprit was Troy Wagstaff, a supervisor who, ironically, was actually the farm’s designated animal welfare manager responsible for animal welfare practice.
Wagstaff admitted abusing numerous pigs between April 2 and April 27, 2018, by causing unnecessary suffering through inflicting blunt force trauma and physical violence.
He denied a second charge of abusing a pig by spraying paint into its nose. The prosecution offered no evidence on that matter.
Gavin Hardy admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two pigs at the farm through inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and the inappropriate use of a pitchfork between April 25 and 27, 2018.
Latvian national Arturs Grigorjevs admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four pigs through inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and the inappropriate use of a pitchfork,when knowing that the act was likely to have this effect.
Cameras were planted in Fir Tree Farm after suspicions that pigs were being ill-treated and these revealed pigs being subjected to horrific abuse.
The pigs’ squeals can be heard as they try to escape from the men around the pens.
Gordon Holt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Grimsby Magistrates’ Court that there was “repeated abuse and cruelty” to “multiple pigs”.
Wagstaff was the unit’s supervisor for nine months and had worked there since 2006.
He was the designated animal welfare manager and had monthly meetings with others about animal welfare practice.
Hardy was a stockman and had worked at the farm for about 20 years.
Grigorjevs had worked with pigs for about nine years.
Elsham Linc, which is owned by the Godfrey family, sacked the men after an investigation, saying the actions were “abhorrent behaviour that does not represent our business”.
Gavin Hardy had shown “no remorse”, his legal team said. His lawyers claimed he was ”desensitised” to the rearing and slaughtering of pigs after working at the farm for 20 years.
Wagstaff was described by his lawyers as “weak and foolish” but “full of remorse”.
The court heard Artis Grigorjevs recognised that his behaviour was unacceptable.
The three were given an eight-week suspended prison sentence, 100 hours’ unpaid work and were banned from working with or transporting commercial livestock indefinitely. They must each pay £500 costs and a Government-imposed £115 victims’ surcharge.