“If you compare the number of pigs talked about today to the hundreds I have had in my life, you would find that I am not the type of person who would purposely let pigs suffer” Fulcher tells court

Leonard Fulcher outside King's Lynn magistrates court. Picture: Ian Burt Leonard Fulcher outside King's Lynn magistrates court. Picture: Ian Burt

Thursday, July 10, 2014
11:33 AM

A farmer read a “pig raising” book to court to defend his methods of looking after his herd.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Leonard Fulcher outside King's Lynn Magistrates Court. Picture: Ian BurtLeonard Fulcher outside King's Lynn Magistrates Court. Picture: Ian Burt

A farmer read a “pig raising” book to court to defend his methods of looking after his herd.

Leonard Richard Fulcher, 61, of Ramblewood Farm, Pott Row, read extracts telling how often pigs should be fed.

Mr Fulcher, previously pleaded not guilty to nine cases of animal welfare laws.

They include causing unnecessary suffering.

In response to a video showing one piglet looking skinny and sick, Mr Fulcher told King’s Lynn magistrates: “If you are a boozer, you are a boozer. If you are a paedophile, you are a paedophile.

“If you compare the number of pigs talked about today to the hundreds I have had in my life, you would find that I am not the type of person who would purposely let pigs suffer.”

Prosecution havs previously alleged that Fulcher’s pigs were given insufficent food and kept in “squalid” conditions.

The trial continues.

EARLIER

Former town councillor, Wisbech butcher and West Norfolk farmer Richard (Leonard) Fulcher kept young pigs in “squalid” conditions without enough food or bedding, a court was told.

Fulcher, 61 of Ramblewood Farm, Pott Row, has gone on trial at King’s Lynn Magistrates Court, after pleading not guilty to nine breaches of animal welfare laws relating to his herd.

They include causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare and fail to identify the feed supplier.

After reading the charges out to the court, prosecutor Alan Weetman called vet Lourdes Leon-Fabregas.

Ms Leon-Fabregas said that in September 2010 Trading Standards contacted her after a member of the public raised concerns about how the farmer was treating his pigs.

Ms Leon-Fabregas said: “I went with two Trading Standard Officers. I think there were about 90 pigs of all ages. There about five or six of the pigs that were too thin. I also observed some pigs that were roaming free.

“I discussed my concerns with Mr Fulcher and advised him to separate them in order to supplement them. I also said that the small pigs could get out of their pens where there was a lot of scrap around so I advised him to improve the fencing.”

Ms Leon-Fabregas said an improvement notice for nutrition and the fencing was issued to Mr Fulcher. After a follow up visit a couple of weeks later the vet returned to find that Mr Fulcher had followed her instructions.

But the court heard there was a complaint from another member of the public the following year. Ms Leon-Fabregas said during a further inspection in February 2012 she found a group of around 15-20 piglets about 5 weeks old “shivering in an open barn with no roof” and water was found to be frozen or dirty.

District Judge Peter Veits said that Fulcher could ask the witness questions about her account as he was representing himself.

Fulcher said: “That day was minus six, we had a reserve in a water bowser so there was a supply of water.”

He showed the court pictures of his barn stating that it did have a roof although it had an opened front.

“I am not a commercial farmer,” he said. “I never remove piglets from their mother before 12 weeks.”

Vet Jane Clark told the court that she visited the farm in October, 2012, accompanied by another vet and two police officers.

“Overall, I found Mr Fulcher was not able to look after his younger piglets,” she said. “The environment was wrong. There didn’t seem to be enough bedding. There didn’t seem to be enough food.”

Miss Clark said some of the smaller piglets were emaciated because they couldn’t get enough food. A video was shown of one animal which could barely stand.

Asked by Mr Weetman whether things had reached the stage where there was suffering, Miss Clark said: “Absolutely.”

Miss Clark said animals were kept on bare mud, with no bedding, in “squalid” conditions.

“They should have a suitable environment and they haven’t got anywhere dry where they can stand, sleep and eat,” she added.

The trial began yesterday and continues today.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
LocalSearch24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

Click here to read more of our digital publications
Book my advert Paper delivery enquiries Wedding Fayres Reader Travel

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT