Essex man fined £37,000 for the abuse of 64 pigs

Man guilty after pigs left to drown in deep slurry

Man guilty after pigs left to drown in deep slurry - Credit: Archant

An Essex man has been found guilty after his pigs were found stuck and slowly drowning in deep slurry.

Jonathan Forbes-Brown, 54, of Bridgehall Barn, Hollies Road, Bradwell, Essex, appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for the conclusion of a trial which had been extended from February.

He was convicted of seven charges relating to 64 pigs including not providing them with a suitable environment; food; fresh water; and not providing veterinary care for one pig that had a leg injury. He was fined just over £37,000.

The RSPCA was called in March 2014 after concerns were raised about the 64 pigs being kept at Cressing Park Farm, Cressing Road, Braintree.

There had been some bad weather and a large number of these pigs had been left stuck in deep slurry, and were slowly drowning and starving to death.

RSPCA inspector Samantha Garvey said: “These were the worst conditions I have ever had to work in - the pigs had just been left to literally drown in the mud.

“The slurry was halfway up their bodies in some cases, and took several of us most of the day to try and heave them out to safety.

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“I spent at least one hour holding one little piglet’s head above the slurry as we desperately tried to get her out. It was so, so sad. I have seen some horrible things in my job, but I was close to tears.

“A lot of the pigs were in a very weak condition and they could not have escaped, or survived, had they been left.”

Ms Garvey said this was a case of someone keeping pigs as a hobby, without realising how hard pigs were to look after.

“This lack of knowledge, along with the bad weather, led to a near tragedy,” she added.

For information on the requirements for ensuring the welfare of a pig and the legal requirements visit: