BREAKING NEWS: Two men exposed by Animal Equality abusing pigs on Harling Farm have pled guilty in court this morning

United Kingdom

The men, who caused cruelty to pigs by hitting and throwing them, have been told they could face prison at the Norwich Magistrates’ Court in Norfolk today.

Animal Equality’s shocking footage from the two-month investigation into this ‘Quality Assured, Red Tractor’ farm, has led to the conviction of Geoffrey Towell, 54, from East Harling in Norfolk, and James Dove, 27, from Wymondham in Norfolk.

 Animal welfare inspectors attended Harling Farm in East Harling on February 10 after being made aware of footage. Geoffrey Towell this morning pleaded guilty to five counts of cruelty to pigs and piglets, contrary to Animal Welfare Act 2006,  by hitting five sows with a plastic pipe – one 35 times, unlawfully killing three pigs by hitting them on the head with a metal bar, and using unnecessary force to handle piglets. He also pleaded one charge of failing to protect pigs from pain and suffering, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, by lifting pigs by the ears and dropping them from waist height.

James Dove, 27, from Wymondham in Norfolk pleaded guilty to two charges of cruelty by hitting sows with a plastic pipe and throwing pigs over a barrier – contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. He also pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to protect pigs from suffering by lifting them with excessive force, lifting pigs by the ear and leg, dropping them to the ground and kicking them while moving them – contrary to section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 The mens’ solictors said in court that they both “express remorse for their actions”. The case has been adjourned for sentencing until August 17 at 2pm so probation reports can be prepared.

 A third man had accepted a formal caution.



“..I noticed the same pig with a broken leg that we saw on Monday. Now he was worse and unable to stand. “That needs knocking on the head”, Geoff said. Before I knew it he had taken an iron bar shaped like a golf club from the gate. He swung it into the air and aimed for the pig’s head shouting “Four!” He smashed the pig’s head four times. The pig screamed in agony, dropped to the floor and convulsed in his faeces. Geoff dragged him out the way of the gate before leaving, and the pig lay there, screaming and writhing on the floor…” – Investigator’s diary (17/08/2011).

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WARNING: Graphic Footage