A pig farming company, near Lutterworth, has been fined £4,500, after admitting an animal welfare charge in court.
Yesterday (November 8) Elvidge Farms pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, following an inspection of Flat House Farm, back in 2020.
At Leicester Magistrates Court, the farm admitted to not having enough enrichment activities for its 9,000 pigs.
It also said drainage slats were too wide on sections of flooring and a pen fence was damaged.
The prosecution accepted no pigs were harmed due to these shortcomings.
Originally, the business, its directors and the farm’s manager had been charged with a total of 66 offences under the Animal Welfare Act – with charges ranging from failing to supply adequate drinking water, to failing to ensure that faeces, urine and food were cleaned up in a timely manner.
However, after one of the prosecution’s key witnesses decided not to give evidence ahead of a six-day hearing last week, the vast majority were dropped by Leicestershire Trading Standards.
The court proceedings revealed that Flat House Farm is no longer farming pigs.
District Judge Nick Watson sentenced Elvidge Farms Ltd to pay a £4,500 fine, along with a maximum surcharge of £181 within three months. A 10 per cent discount was awarded due to the company’s guilty plea.
Speaking about the result, Juliet Gellatley, Founder and Director of animal right group Viva! said: “On the one hand I am delighted that no pigs are now suffering in the filthy slum that was Flat House. I witnessed firsthand the tragedies that took place inside Flat House Farm: from severely ill pigs left writhing in agony, to decomposing corpses lying next to distressed pigs, it really was like something from a horror film.”
A Trading Standards spokesperson said: “Leicestershire Trading Standards animal health officers visited the farm at the request of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), in response to information received.
“The Trading Standards officers, along with vets from the APHA, carried out an inspection, where it was found that the environment for the pigs provided by Elvidge Farms Limited fell below legal standards.
“It is the remit of the animal health team to protect the food chain. We will continue to act on information received relating to farmed animal welfare to ensure that the high standards required are maintained.”