Allowing pigs to suffer sees Portglenone farmer banned for life from keeping animals


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A general picture of pigs. Photo by Pixabay on

A PORTGLENONE farmer was today sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for four years, after he admitted two charges of failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to pigs.

Michael Agnew (47), Ballynease Road, who had previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced at the Crown Court in Derry/Londonderry.

He was also disqualified from owning animals, keeping animals, participating in keeping animals, being party to an arrangement under which that person is entitled to control or influence the way in which animals are being kept, from dealing in animals, from transporting animals, arranging the transport of animals – for life.

This case arose when very serious animal welfare issues were discovered during ongoing monitoring of welfare standards on the defendant’s premises.

Two sows had to be euthanised by a veterinary surgeon to prevent them suffering any further.

Agnew was convicted of two charges of, by reason of an act or failure to act by him caused unnecessary suffering to a pig and he knew or ought reasonable to have known that the said act or failure to act would have that effect or was likely to do so, contrary to Section 4(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

The Department gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary.


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