Category Archives: pigs

March, Cambridgeshire: Lee Fisher

#TheList Lee John Fisher, born c. 1988, of 4 Haslehurst Close, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9BB – jailed after RSPCA find pigs lying dead and emaciated in Chatteris

Farmer Lee John Fisher of March, Cambridgeshire, left pigs to starve to death in horrible conditions
Farmer Lee John Fisher of March, Cambridgeshire, left pigs to starve to death in horrible conditions

Fisher entered a guilty plea to ten offences under the Animal Welfare Act in April and was then sentenced at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on May 16, 2019.

The charges relate to the inadequate diet given to the pigs and a lack of veterinary care provided for them.

Following the investigation 103 pigs were signed over into RSPCA care.

Farmer Lee John Fisher of March, Cambridgeshire, left pigs to starve to death in horrible conditions

RSPCA Inspector Alex Coghlan attended the site in August 2018. She said: “We were alerted to the state of this land via an anonymous letter including photographs.

“The smell of the site hit you as soon as you walked in, the pigs were being kept in cramped conditions and in some cases alive animals were lying alongside dead ones.

“It was distressing to see particularly as only one pen had any water for the pigs, when we offered the younger pigs a drink they were frantic. I was very concerned for the welfare of these animals.”

Sentencing: two 18-week custodial sentences and eight 9-week custodial sentences on the charges, to run concurrently. £600 costs. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 15 years.

Cambs Times

Stapleford Abbotts, Romford: Edwin Harris

#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.

Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.

He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.

The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
A Jack Russell rescued from a life of misery at the hands of her cruel owner Edwin Harris

Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.

Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.
Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.

The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.

RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.

“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.

“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.

“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”

Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation

In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Romford Recorder

Lincolnshire Pig Abusers: Gavin Hardy, Arturs Grigorjevs and Troy Wagstaff

#TheList Gavin Hardy , born 29/09/79, of 18 Greengate Lane, Immingham DN40 3EZ, Troy Wagstaff, born 06/03/88, of Willow Close, Ulceby DN39 6UR , and Arturs Grigorjevs, born c. 1986, of Oak Avenue, Goole DN14 – 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

Trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire
These three men regularly subjected defenceless pigs to “gratuitous, appalling and sickening” brutality

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.

Trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire
A severely scarred pig at Fir Tree Farm

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, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Gavin Hardy

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.

Arturs Grigorjevs, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Arturs Grigorjevs

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, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
A ticking time bomb? Gavin Hardy’s own solicitor admitted that his client was desensitised to animal suffering having worked on Godfreys’ pig farm for 20 years

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”.

Latvian national Arturs Grigorjevs, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Latvian Grigorjevs pictured outside court

The court heard Artis Grigorjevs recognised that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Sentencing:
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.

Grimsby Telegraph


Cullompton, Devon: Edward Shere

Edward Shere, born c. 1989, of Gingerland Livery Yard, Colebrooke Lane, Cullompton EX15 1PD – shot a pet pig called Ivor three times before dragging him, still alive, onto a trailer with a winch

Edward Shere
Callous Edward Shere caused pet pig Ivor tremendous suffering in his final moments

Shere, a former stocksman with the Portman Hunt, had denied harming the pig but was found guilty of causing him unnecessary suffering.

RSPCA officials said Shere was contacted on the hunt’s emergency line by Ivor’s owner.

The owner asked Shere to humanely destroy the pet pig at a smallholding. Vets had advised the animal be euthanised.

However, the defendant used an ‘incorrect weapon’ and failed to properly and humanely euthanise Ivor, who weighed 340 kilograms.

Shere then winched the much-loved family pet onto a trailer while he still alive in front of his owners, who had gathered to say their final goodbyes.

Ivor’s owner has since set up a campaign group on Facebook.

RSPCA chief inspector Mike Butcher, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “It’s essential all animals are treated in a way which safeguards their welfare at all times, throughout their entire life.

“Many animals have their lives ended due to being put down as a result of illness, age or infirmity.

“At this upsetting final stage of an animal’s life, owners place their full trust in those employed to humanely put animals to sleep to do so competently and without causing the type of suffering Ivor sadly experienced.”

Sentencing: disqualified for transporting (but not keeping) animals for three years. 120 hours of unpaid work; £750 fine.

Bournemouth Echo

Camborne, Cornwall: Vivian John Exelby

#TheList farmer Vivian John Exelby, born c.  1943, of Little Borthog, Howe Downs, Camborne TR14 0NF – found guilty of 12 animal welfare charges relating to pigs and poultry

Exelby, who has lived at the same farm his entire life, admitted mistreating pigs and poultry.

Magistrates heard how poultry had access to numerous hazards such as empty plastic sacks, old machinery and collapsed buildings, which had the potential to cause them harm.

Other charges related to broken and bent mesh, corrugated iron and damaged wooden panels; not having a suitable dry lying area; failing to provide them with a suitable diet; unnecessary suffering to a pig; insufficient water supply for pigs; two counts of failing to protect pigs from pain, suffering injury and disease; not having a dry lying area for pigs; housing pigs in isolation; keeping a hen in an unsuitable arc with solid sides, no natural light and damp conditions; failing to protect a pig from a collapsed roof.

Exelby pleaded guilty to all 12 offences, which took place before April 30, 2018.

An order was made under section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 banning him from having any responsibility of all farm animals.

Stuart Benson, from Cornwall Council, said: “It is regrettable that prosecution action had to be taken in this case against an elderly farmer.

“However, despite many attempts over the years to advise him, he has continually failed to provide the most basic of needs to his animals.

“Consequently there was no credible option but to prosecute him.”

Exelby has since sold the remaining livestock he had.

Sentencing:
Four-month electronic monitoring. £1,500 costs and £85 victim surcharge.  Banned from keeping livestock for life.

Farming UK
Falmouth Packet

Moreton-In-Marsh, Gloucestershire: Clive Lockton

#TheList farmer Clive Lockton, born c. 1958, of New Road Farm, Todenham, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9PN – kept his livestock and poultry in terrible conditions

Lockton pleaded guilty to 17 animal welfare offences including causing unnecessary suffering to a female pig as well as failing to ensure animal welfare and failing to properly inform the authorities of a death of a cow on the farm.

The conditions in which the farmer kept his livestock and poultry were so unsuitable and dangerous that one pig was injured by a makeshift shelter which collapsed on it. The animal had to be shot by a vet to relieve its suffering when animal welfare inspectors visited.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to ear mark cattle and failing to inform the authorities of animal movements off his farm.

The court heard how Trading Standards officer Claire Miers and vet Marie Ipas both visited Lockton’s farm on June 7th last year and found 75 pigs, seven sheep and hundreds of chickens living in a ‘terrible conditions’ with poor, inadequate bedding and feed and water.

Prosecuting Bonnie Styles said there was no fresh water or bedding for the animals and that shelters constructed by Lockton had collapsed, injuring a sow.

The pig had a massive abscess on its leg and had suffered broken ribs when the wall fell on it. It was in such a poor state a vet had to be called immediately to shoot the animal to put it out of its misery.

The court heard how Miss Miers had previously visited the farm and helped Lockton apply for planning permission to build a new shed for the pigs but when she later returned the shed was being used to house cattle.

“At one end of the shed there was an area which was used for feeding. There were pallets and a trough all tied together with string and there were planks on the floor with nails sticking out of them which the cattle could injure themselves on,” said Miss Styles.

“In the feeding area the mud was so deep the cattle couldn’t walk and there was metal corrugated panels sticking out of the ground.

“There was an old bath used for feeding which was in a filfthy condition and in a water container there was a dead bird which Mr Lockton said he was going to remove later.

“There were holes in the floor big enough for a pig to fall into.”

The court heard there was also a pile of out of date food which the chickens and pigs had access to.

“There was Cumberland sausages, chicken and bacon sandwiches and flame grilled chicken which the free roaming pigs and hens had access to,” said Miss Styles.

The inspectors also saw three calves without ear tags which are required by law because of animal health and movement regulations.

They also found a sow in pain suffering.

“The pig was in a very poor condition and had what appeared to be an open wound on its legs. It was hobbling and its jaw was dislocated,” said Miss Styles.

Manure and dirt had built up in the water containers.

“The pig pens were in a very poor state with no dry area and empty food buckets,” said Miss Styles.

Sentencing: rehabilitation order to carry out 15 days’ community service over 12 months. Total of £485 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping cattle and pigs for a period of five years, with stipulation that this cannot be appealed for a period of two years.

Punchline Gloucester
GloucestershireLive

Bourne, Lincolnshire: Maxine Cammock

#TheList Maxine Cammock, born May 1964, of Foss Farm, 2 Dyke Grove, Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 0BL – kept dogs, chickens and pigs in horrific conditions; 176 animals found dead.

RSPCA Inspector Kate Burris initially attended Maxine Cammock’s farm after some of Cammock’s pigs escaped, but discovered a scene of unimaginable horror in which 176 animals were found dead and dozens more living in shocking conditions.

Inspector Burris said: “I went to Cammock’s home in October last year [2017] after a call from a police officer who had been involved in rounding up a number of escaped pigs and returning them to her.

“The officer was extremely concerned by what he had seen, and rang us.

“It is a large property with several buildings on site. There were the remains of dead animals everywhere, most in such a state of decomposition it was impossible to establish how they had died.

“Several collie type dogs were in a shocking state in filthy pens in one of the buildings. Two of the dogs were dead, one in a pen with two other dogs, Julie and Martin.

“A pig who had eaten a bucket of rat poison was dead in another of the buildings. Cammock realised what the pig had done and, rather than seek vet treatment, locked him inside.”

Only twenty-five animals were found alive and were immediately removed.

However, a month later even more animals were found in distress including chickens who had been packed into plastic containers with the lids weighted down.

A total of 55 eggs had been hatched and the chicks were seen living in cardboard boxes and containers.

The charges made to Maxine Cammock

  1. between 10 September and 10 October 2017, causing unnecessary suffering to seven dogs by failing to provide adequate nutrition;
  2. between 10 September and 10 October 2017, failing to meet the needs of seven dogs by housing them in a urine and faeces contaminated environment;
  3. on dates before 10 October 2017, failing to meet the needs of a pig by failing to house him in an environment without rat poison and failing to protect him from pain, suffering, injury or disease once he had ingested rat poison;
  4. between 27 October and 8 November 2017, failing to meet the needs of 10 chickens by housing them in an environment that didn’t allow them to stand properly or stretch their wings and did not provide adequate food or drinking water;
  5. between 27 October and 8 November 2017, failing to meet the needs of 55 chicks by housing them in cardboard boxes or plastic containers which did not provide a suitable environment for their needs.

Cammock pleaded guilty to five offences contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 relating to a total of nine dogs, a pig, ten chickens and 55 chicks.

Sentencing: 24-month community order; 30-day rehabilitation requirement; total of £335 costs and charges. Lifetime disqualification from keeping animals.

LincolnshireLive

Worton, Cassington, Oxfordshire: David and Anneke Blake plus Jenejio Marques Fidel

#TheList David K Blake and Anneke Maria Blake, owners of the Worton Organic Garden, Worton, near Cassington OX29 4SU and their employee, Jenejio Marques Fidel – for the illegal and inhumane slaughter of a ten-week-old piglet

Photo shows David and Anneke Blake and their employee Jenejio Marques Fidel
David and Anneke Blake trading as Worton Organic Garden and their employee Jenejio Marques Fidel

The piglet had its feet bound before being illegally slaughtered in a way that inspectors said would cause a ‘prolonged death’.

The business owners David and Anneke Blake appeared alongside their employee Jenejio Marques Fidel, who carried out the unusual slaughter.

The court heard how officers from Oxfordshire Trading Standards first visited the farm in May 2017 after getting a complaint about illegal slaughter of animals.

When asked about the slaughtering of pigs, the Blakes admitted to the slaughtering of a 10-week-old piglet by Marques.

The court was shown the knife which Marques used to kill the pig.

They revealed the method of slaughter was by binding the feet of the pig then stabbing it through the heart.

This method of slaughter was identified by a Defra veterinary officer as leading to a ‘prolonged death’ and causing ‘distress and unnecessary suffering’.

The meat from the pig was then sold and eaten at the farm cafe, despite not complying with UK food safety legislation.

When officers went back for a second visit, they discovered evidence of medicines being used to treat pigs for worms.

But when questioned, Mr Blake admitted he did not keep any records on administering the medicines – a requirement under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

Again, the regulations are intended to ‘ensure the integrity’ and safety of food destined for human consumption.

The Blakes and Marques all pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and were apologetic for their actions, which they said was out of ignorance of the law.

They also gave assurances that they would follow the legal requirements in future.

David and Anneke Blake and their employee all admitted failing to comply with regulations relating to the welfare of animals at the time of killing. David Blake also admitted to failing to record details of veterinary medicinal products.

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for trading standards Judith Heathcoat said: “Rules are in place around the slaughter of animals and the keeping of livestock records for very good reasons, ensuring the safety and integrity of our food chain, not forgetting the need to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals.

“The vast majority of livestock keepers maintain very good farming standards and we will not tolerate those who undermine the system.”

Sentencing:
David Blake – fined a total of £664 and ordered to pay £2,000 court costs and a £38 victim surcharge.

Anneke Blake – fined £230 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Marques, who gave his address as Rectory Cottage, Worton,  was fined £150 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.

Oxford Mail