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Third conviction for violent abuse filmed on a Lincolnshire pig farm

31/01/2019 Updated: 14/01/2021

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

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

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.

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.

Fir Tree Farm is owned by Elsham Linc – one of Britain’s biggest pig producers – and supplied large retailers including Tesco. Consumers concerned about cruelty like this taking place on factory farms can help put a stop to it by choosing from the variety of delicious plant-based alternatives now widely available in shops and restaurants across the UK

You can help us catch more animal abusers. Support our investigations with a donation today.

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