East Harling farm workers admit cruelty to pigs

Image caption Pigs were filmed being abused on Harling Farm in Norfolk

Two farm workers have admitted causing unnecessary suffering to pigs at a farm in Norfolk - exposed by secret filming.

Geoffrey Towell and James Dove were working at Harling Farm, East Harling, when they were secretly filmed being cruel to sows and piglets.

Towell, 54, of East Harling, admitted five charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals.

Dove, 27, of Arundal Road, Wymondham, admitted two counts of the same charge, at Norwich Magistrates' Court.

Both also admitted failing to protect pigs from suffering contrary to the Animal Welfare Act.

This amounted to one charged of Towell and two charges for Dove.

Possible jail sentence

The cruelty was exposed by a member of the animal rights group Animal Equality who filmed Towell, of Eccles Road, throwing piglets and using a metal bar to beat sows while moving them. In one case a sow was clubbed 35 times.

Dove was filmed kicking the animals.

Sentencing was adjourned until next month.

District judge Peter Veits said there was a possibility that the pair could be jailed.

RSPCA officials attended the farm on 10 February this year after being made aware of the footage.

RSPCA Inspector Ben Kirby said: "We were appalled when we saw the footage of pigs being kicked, beaten and handled so cruelly.

"All animals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect - whether they are pets, wildlife or livestock.

"This has been a very sad case but we are pleased those responsible for this horrific cruelty have been brought before the courts and guilty pleas have been entered."

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