East Yorkshire NewsNEWS

ANIMAL HEALTH PROSECUTION BROUGHT AGAINST PIG PRODUCTION COMPANY BY EAST RIDING COUNCIL

Two employees of a pig production company appeared before Hull Magistrates Court on Friday 8th December, 2023, in relation to animal welfare offences.

The driver and fieldsman both pleaded guilty to offences under animal transport legislation for using violence likely to cause unnecessary fear, injury or suffering and for using prohibited handling techniques when loading pigs for transport.

The court heard how animal health officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council undertook an investigation after video footage of pigs being loaded onto a lorry at a farm in Holderness on 24th April, was received from a member of the public.

The video showed the driver lifting a pig, which was reluctant to load, by the tail and hitting it with a pig board, a pig board is a board used to guide pigs when moving them.

When the pig still refused to load onto the lorry, it was then hit on multiple occasions with a pig board by the company fieldsman.

The investigation found the pig company had provided extensive training on the correct methods for handling and moving pigs, and following internal disciplinary hearings, the fieldsman had been dismissed and driver transferred into a driving role which does not involve handling livestock.

The driver was fined £480 and £800 costs with a £192 victim surcharge and the fieldsman was fined £384 and £800 costs with a £154 victim surcharge.

Andrew Buxton, food services and animal health manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case.

“The council takes its duty to protect the health and welfare of farm animals very seriously, as this is vital to ensure the integrity of the livestock industry. It is important that livestock keepers are aware that, whist reports of this type are uncommon, if reported they will be investigated by animal health officers, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council will take formal action where necessary and appropriate”.

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