UK Pig Farm Investigation Leads to Third Animal Abuse Conviction

Last year Animal Equality filmed workers on Fir Tree farm in Lincolnshire in the UK violently abusing the vulnerable pigs in their care. Today in UK’s Grimsby Magistrates Court, one farm worker pleaded guilty to animal cruelty crimes, joining the two other men who have previously been convicted.

THE FACTS: In April and May 2018, Animal Equality filmed workers on Fir Tree pig farm kicking pigs in the face, jabbing them with pitchforks and slamming gates on their heads. Today, in Grimsby Magistrates court, farm employee Gavin Hardy pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering in relation to these acts. Two other workers at Fir Tree Farm were convicted of the same offence at a previous hearing.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Our undercover investigators visited the farm in April and May 2018 after an anonymous tip-off. They uncovered repeated, deliberate violence by several workers. The case highlights the lack of independent, unannounced farm inspections in the UK, the absence of which leaves farmed animals vulnerable to abuse. Without the bravery of the whistleblower and our investigators, these workers would still be beating pigs at Fir Tree Farm today.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “We are pleased that all three of these farm workers have been convicted for their deliberate acts of violence against the vulnerable animals in their care. We now expect them to receive the maximum prison sentence possible for this disgusting abuse, ” said Dr Toni Shephard, Animal Equality’s UK Director.

OUR WORK’S IMPACT: As a result of Animal Equality’s UK investigations six farm workers have now been convicted of cruelty. In May 2017 a dairy farm worker in Somerset received a 12-week suspended prison sentence after Animal Equality investigators filmed him violently abusing newborn calves and their mothers. In 2012 two workers were filmed beating piglets to death with a metal bar on Harling Farm in Norfolk. Both men pleaded guilty to cruelty charges and one was sent to prison for 18 weeks.