Farmer who failed to prevent unnecessary suffering to pigs gets suspended jail sentence

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A Co Antrim farmer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for four years after he admitted charges of failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to pigs.

Michael Agnew, of Ballynease Road in Portglenone, who had previously pleaded guilty to two charges, was sentenced at Londonderry Crown Court today.

The 47-year-old was also disqualified from owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting animals for life.

The case arose when very serious animal welfare issues were discovered during ongoing monitoring of welfare standards on the defendant’s premises.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, two sows had to be euthanised by a veterinary surgeon to prevent them suffering any further.