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Norfolk: Pig-hating farmers

19/08/2012

 

Domestic pig

Domestic pig (Photo credit: Sibylle Stofer)

Farm worker jailed after being filmed battering pigs to death with plastic pipe and picking them up by their ears in ‘hell hole’ farm

The undercover investigator recounted the horrific moment Towell battered a pig to death with an iron bar.

He said: ‘Geoff grabbed the handle from the gate as usual and smashed it over the head of one of the sick piglets.

‘It took him several blows before he finally cracked the skull, sending the animal into spasm.

‘He then shouted at me to help him throw the animal into the dead bin.

‘It took me a few seconds to react as I just cannot get used to him doing this.

‘The blood was pumping out of the animal’s head, and pieces of brain.

‘I got hold of the leg and the blood went all over my boots, the floor and the dead bin.

‘As soon as the piglet was inside the bin, Geoff put the lid on and walked away.’

Towell from East Harling, Norfolk, pleaded guilty to five counts of cruelty to pigs and piglets, contrary to Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to protect pigs from pain and suffering, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Towell also admitted using unnecessary force to handle piglets and one charge of failing to protect pigs from pain and suffering, by lifting pigs by the ears and dropping them from waist height.

He was jailed for 18 weeks and banned from the keeping, managing, husbandry, care or control of farm animals for 10 years.

The farm had been certified by the Red Tractor food quality scheme – which claims to ensure food is produced ethically and to ‘high standards of safety’.

The Red Tractor label is supposed to give food quality assurances to customers and retailers. It is still being investigated which stores stock meat from Harling Farm.

Shamed Harling Farm owner Stephen Brown, 52, shot himself in the head in a suspected suicide on Valentine’s Day this year, three days after the investigation was released to the media.

* Why Do People Hate Pigs? 42% People Do (8,298 opinions)

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