MEN CHARGED OVER SHOCK­ING FOOTAGE OF PIG ABUSE AT FARM

Grimsby Telegraph - - Front Page - By Con­nor Lynch con­nor.lynch@reach­plc.com

THREE men have been charged af­ter un­der­cover video footage un­veiled the shock­ing abuse of pigs by work­ers at Fir Tree Farm in Gox­hill.

Ar­tis Grog­prkevs, 31, of Fir Tree Farm Cot­tage, Gox­hill, Gavin Hardy, 39, of Green­gate Lane, South Killingholme and Troy Wagstaff, 30, of Chantry Lane, Grimsby, have been charged with caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to a pro­tected an­i­mal be­tween April 2, 2018 and April 27, 2018. Grog­prkevs has been charged with caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to four lan­drace pigs, by in­flict­ing blunt force trauma, phys­i­cal vi­o­lence and us­ing a pitch­fork in­ap­pro­pri­ately.

Hardy has been charged with caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to two lan­drace pigs, by in­flict­ing blunt force trauma, phys­i­cal vi­o­lence and us­ing a pitch­fork in­ap­pro­pri­ately.

Wagstaff has been charged with two counts of caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to nu­mer­ous lan­drace pigs, by in­flict­ing blunt force trauma, phys­i­cal vi­o­lence and us­ing a pitch­fork in­ap­pro­pri­ately.

They were due to ap­pear at Grimsby Mag­is­trates Court on Oc­to­ber 26, but the case was ad­journed un­til Novem­ber 22, as the RSPCA had not served the men the rel­e­vant pa­per­work.

The farm, which is part of the El­sham Linc group, has a herd of around 10,000 pigs and the group is one of the coun­try’s largest pig pro­duc­ers.

The charges stem from an un­der­cover video op­er­a­tion by an­i­mal rights char­ity An­i­mal Equal­ity.

The char­ity’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion came af­ter an anony­mous tip-off and the footage shows a num­ber of in­ci­dents of vi­o­lent abuse of an­i­mals at the farm.

In more than one, work­ers are seen kick­ing pigs in the face and head, of­ten vi­o­lently and re­peat­edly.

In an­other shock­ing clip, pigs are jabbed re­peat­edly with pitch­forks and heard squeal­ing in an­guish.

Other scenes show the work­ers slam­ming gates on pigs’ heads and laugh­ing at the abuse and swear­ing at them.

In Fe­bru­ary at the same farm, 70 pigs were killed and al­most 200 res­cued in a ma­jor fire which swept through the pens. Speak­ing af­ter the footage emerged, Dr Toni Shep­hard, An­i­mal Equal­ity’s UK direc­tor, said: “While in­ten­sive pig farms are in­her­ently piti­less places, the bru­tal­ity in­flicted on these poor pigs is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble.

“The work­ers shown in the footage show com­plete con­tempt for the an­i­mals in their care and seem im­mune to their suf­fer­ing, even when the pigs scream in pain.

“We de­mand that they be brought to jus­tice.

“Con­sumers can help end this cru­elty by try­ing the in­creas­ing va­ri­ety of plant-based foods avail­able in shops and restau­rants – which are of­ten health­ier than meat as well as cru­elty-free.”

A Fir Tree farm worker kicks a pig.

A se­verely scarred pig at Fir Tree Farm, Gox­hill.

These Fir Tree Farm pigs have tail-bit­ing wounds.

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