26 February 1998
Rare pig breeder convicted of cruelty

By FWi staff

RARE pig breeder David Watkiss has been convicted of cruelty to a number of animals kept for the Rare Breeds Animal Conservation Trust in Buckinghamshire.

Amersham magistrates convicted Watkiss of 41 out of the 42 charges of causing unnecessary distress or suffering to animals, including saddleback pigs and a White Park cow, and failing to dispose of carcasses. He denied all 42 charges.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “The animals had been neglected, they were starving and emaciated.”

Watkiss, 58, who now lives at Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, was one of three trustees in court. The other two, Jeremy Smith, 30, of Monks Risborough, and James Cozens, 42, of Princess Risborough, were both convicted of 28 offences of permitting unnecessary suffering or distress to animals and failing to dispose of carcasses, despite pleading not guilty.

Sentencing has been adjourned until March 26 at Amersham Magistrates Court at 11.45am.

RSPCA inspector Nick Ridley said the offences occurred between November 1996 and February 1997.

Mr Ridley said: “These defendants ignored animal welfare advice offered over a period of four months and the RSPCA is pleased to see them held responsible for their cruelty.”