MEN CHARGED OVER SHOCKING FOOTAGE OF PIG ABUSE AT FARM
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.