Farmer receives suspended prison sentence

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A Co Antrim farmer was 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, Portglenone, who had previously pleaded guilty was sentenced at Londonderry Crown Court. 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.