27 March 1998
Rare breed trust owner jailed for cruelty

DAVID WATKINS, 58, owner of a rare breeds conservation trust in Buckingham, was jailed for three months and banned from keeping animals for life after he was found guilty of starving pigs.

The case followed an investigation by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimated to have cost £100,000.

Watkiss was convicted of 34 charges last month of causing unnecessary suffering, two of causing unnecessary distress and five of failing to dispose of carcasses.

He owns the Rare Breed Animal Conservation Trust at Dunsmore and North Dean, designed to help get the unemployed and disabled back to work. Co-owners Jeremy Smith and James Cozens had no direct involvement but they were fined £1,200 and £1,450 respectively for 27 conviction of permitting unnecessary suffering to animals as owners.

  • The Times 27/03/98 page 3