A pig farmer has been fined £1,500 and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work after being convicted of pig cruelty.
Leslie Barker, 60, from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to 13 pigs at a hearing on Tuesday (27 November) at St Albans Magistrates Court.
RSPCA inspectors found the 13 pigs on Mr Barker's farm in Old Park Ride, Cheshunt, in an emaciated state, with protruding bones. All the animals were also suffering from chronic mange and worms.
Four of them were in such a bad condition that they had to be put to sleep at the farm on veterinary advice.
Speaking after sentencing, RSPCA inspector Rebecca Bedson said: "The state of the pigs was evident even from the roadside. They were all underweight and some severely underweight.
"Mr Barker was feeding them an inadequate diet. Pigs need protein and he was only giving them sugar beet and potatoes on the day we visited the farm with a vet."
All of the pigs were rare breed crosses, which were being bred to sell on the commercial market. The remaining nine have been rehomed.
Mr Barker was given a 12-week sentence suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to pay £1,500 costs and to complete 150 hours of unpaid community service.
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