Two men have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after being filmed beating pigs on a Norfolk farm by animal rights organisation Animal Equality. Both were seen hitting the pigs with pipes.

Two men have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after being filmed beating pigs on a Norfolk farm.
 
Two men have pleaded guilty for beating pigs on a farm (file picture)Geoffrey Towell, 54, from East Harling, Norfolk, admitted five counts of cruelty to pigs and piglets, unlawfully killing three pigs and using unnecessary force to handle piglets.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to protect pigs from pain and suffering.
 
James Dove, 27, from Wymondham, Norfolk, admitted two charges of cruelty and one charge of not preventing suffering.

RSPCA inspectors attended Harling Farm in East Harling on February 10, 2012 after being made aware of footage filmed by animal rights organisation Animal Equality, which showed the pigs and piglets being abused.

Towell was seen hitting five sows with plastic pipe – one 35 times – as well as killing three pigs by hitting them on the head with a metal bar. He also lifted the pigs by the ears and dropped them from waist height.

Dove was also seen hitting sows as well as throwing pigs over a barrier. He was also seen kicking the pigs while moving them, as well as lifting them by the ears and legs.
 
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.”
 
A third man accepted a formal caution from the RSPCA.

The case was adjourned for sentencing until August 17, 2012.

Image © pkemp
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