The owner of an animal sanctuary in Staffordshire is facing charges for causing suffering to 31 animals under her care.

Lindsay Newell, 27, of Stapenhill, appeared at Stafford Magistrates’ Court yesterday and denies charges related to the neglect of animals at the Burton Wildlife Rescue and Animal Centre.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) executed a warrant at the centre in November 2012, where animals were malnourished and emaciated.

The carcase of a lamb that had starved to death was found, along with an Old Spot pig, which died in front of a local government trading standards officer.

Video footage of the pig, named Babe, was shown in court among further evidence of animal neglect.

A large number of animals, including turkeys, cockerels, sheep, a Canada goose, horses, ponies and piglets were found to be suffering.

Dingleby Clark, prosecuting, said: “This pig was being looked after by the defendant, but for some reason this defendant did not give the required care to this pig and it died.

“She had too many animals and too few staff. She had too many different species.”

He added that Newell had “completely taken her eye off the ball” and the centre became “out of control”.

Concerns for the welfare of animals at the sanctuary were raised by Sarah Levy, who volunteered at the centre for six months until June 2012.When she left, she wrote a letter to the RSPCA expressing her concern for the care of the animals.

Geoffrey Young, enforcement officer for Derbyshire County Council, filmed Babe in her final moments, but said when he first arrived at the sanctuary she had been running about and he did not think anything was wrong with her.

It was suggested Babe had lost weight due to her piglets “weighing her down”. The trial continues.

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