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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 17:26 GMT 18:26 UK
Ban for farmer after foot-and-mouth
Bobby Waugh
Bobby Waugh had denied the charges
A man whose farm is thought to have been the probable source of the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis has been banned from keeping livestock for 15 years.

Bobby Waugh was sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of nine charges relating to foot-and-mouth disease at a trial in May.

Waugh, who ran a pig fattening farm at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, was found guilty of concealing the fact his herd had contracted the foot-and-mouth virus and of animal health and cruelty charges.

At Bedlington Magistrates Court on Friday, Waugh was also made subject of a three-month curfew, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of 10,000.

Good character

A government report in June said his farm was the probable source of the foot and mouth epidemic, which cost the UK more than 4bn.

The sentence, imposed by Judge James Prowse, means Waugh will have to stay at his home in Sunderland between 2000 BST and 0700 BST every night for three months.

He is also banned from keeping pigs, sheep, cattle, goats and horses for 15 years although he is allowed to keep household pets.

Mr Prowse - who delivered a 14,500 word judgment after the three-week trial - heard how Waugh was a man of previous good character but who was now held in contempt by others in the farming industry and had received hate mail.


We are satisfied with the outcome of this case and hope this acts as a deterrent to other farmers

Mick King, trading standards

He said he could have jailed Waugh for the animal cruelty charges but did not do so because of his previous good character and his poor health.

The farmer was given six months to pay 10,000 towards the 90,000 prosecution costs paid by Northumberland County Council whose trading standards department investigated the case.

Outside the court trading standards officer Mick King said: "The sentence passed today reflects the seriousness of the offences that Bobby Waugh has committed.

"Failing to report foot-and-mouth, the most infectious disease known to man, has devastating consequences as we have all witnessed.

"Feeding pigs unprocessed swill is well known among the farming community as a high-risk activity.

"It is outrageous for anyone to cause unnecessary suffering to animals.

Pigs on Burnside Farm, Northumberland
Vets found 80% of the pigs had the disease

"We are satisfied with the outcome of this case and hope this acts as a deterrent to other farmers, as poor practices will not be tolerated in Northumberland."

During the trial the court was shown a video that depicted some of Waugh's 527 pigs huddled together, with some of them lying twitching on the floor.

The prosecution said Waugh, 56, of St Luke's Road, Pallion, Sunderland, should have spotted symptoms of the disease in his animals.

It was also claimed he routinely fed his stock untreated catering waste from local schools and restaurants.

Waugh was found guilty of five counts of failing to notify the authorities of the outbreak at Burnside Farm.

He was also found guilty of one count of feeding unprocessed waste to his animals and one charge of failing to properly dispose of animal by-products.

Waugh was convicted of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to pigs and cleared on two similar charges.

He was also acquitted of one charge of bringing unprocessed waste on to the farm and a further three charges of failing to dispose of animal by-products.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The National Farming Union's Stephen Rossides
"I think the sentence is appropriate"
The BBC's Richard Wells
"He will never ever farm again"
The BBC's Adam Brimelow
"The credibility of British food is at stake"

Click here to go to Tyne
See also:

30 May 02 | England
30 May 02 | England
30 May 02 | England
08 Oct 01 | England
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