It is been dubbed as one of the worst animal welfare cases ever, after a court banned a couple of farmers from keeping animals for the next ten years, as reported by FGinsight.com.
Dr John and Teresa Penn, aged 76 and 77 respectively, were handed suspended jail sentences after animals were found to be kept in the most horrific conditions ever found on a farm.
Upon a standards officer inspecting the farm, pigs were discovered feeding on the flesh of other pigs, which were discarded onto piles of debris. The investigation found that the animals were being left without food, water and shelter, whilst they were forced to live in deplorable conditions amongst bricks, debris, wooden planks and discarded barbed wire. 20 pigs were in need of culling, such was the conditions.
“These were some of the most horrific conditions we’ve ever experienced. Seeing pigs feeding off dead pigs was particularly shocking and upsetting.”, said Richard Strawson the trading standards manager of East Sussex County Council.
The couple were given improvement notices upon the first inspection of the farm, offering them a chance to rectify all the problems and dangers found. The couple though failed to carry out any of the instructions, leading to their subsequent ban.
The couple were both handed a jail sentence of 18 months, though it has been suspended for 12 months. They both received a ten year ban from owning farm animals. The ban was suspended for 8 weeks, to allow the couple to get rid of their remaining pigs and sheep. The couple were also handed a fine of £1,157 ( $1,034) and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 (€129.69).
Bill Bentley, a lead member of the county council for communities and safety said, “Our Trading Standards officers have carried out a professional enquiry which led to this successful prosecution. This case demonstrates we won’t hesitate to take the strongest possible action against mistreatment of animals.”