Two men pleaded guilty today to charges of animal cruelty while employed at a pig farm, Fir Tree in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Artis Grogprkevs, 31, and Troy Wagstaff, 30, have appeared at Grimsby magistrates court charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between 2-27 April this year.
A third man, Gavin Hardy, failed to appear at the hearing and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Under the prosecution, which was brought by the RSPCA, all three were accused of inflicting blunt-force trauma, physical violence and using a pitchfork inappropriately. Wagstaff pleaded not guilty to one count of spraying paint into a pig’s nose.
The convictions were based on secret video footage obtained by rights charity Animal Equality earlier this year, which showed repeated and deliberate violent abuse of pigs.
Sentencing will take place on 20 December at Grimsby magistrates court.
Speaking from the court, Dr Toni Shephard, Animal Equality’s UK director, told the Guardian: “We are pleased that two pig farm workers have been convicted for their disgusting attacks on the vulnerable animals in their care revealed by our investigation. We thank the RSPCA for prosecuting this case so swiftly. We expect these men to face the fullest force of the law for these extreme acts of cruelty.”