The trial of Bobby Waugh continued at Bedlington Magistrates Court, Northumberland.Closing submissions for the Prosecution: A brief outline summary as Mr Waugh faces a total of 15 Charges.
10.44am Mr Paddy Cosgrove QC
Mr Cosgrove stated that the Robert (Bobby) Waugh was in charge of animal welfare within a division of labour at Burnside Farm. He would check the pigs on at least two occasions per day and be able to notice any change or state of the pigs.
Mr Waugh had immense experience of pigs - over 40 years - and had been able to identify SVD within his herd during the 1970s. A time, when he was less experienced in pig management. The signs of SVD and FMD are similar and according to the evidence of Dr Kitching, on a scale of 1 to 10, the present outbreak rated 10:10 compared with 4:10 for the SVD outbreak. The submission is that this disease was easier to spot than SVD.
Mr Waugh had been informed of a vesicular disease(SVD) in pigs by Cheale Meats on 19th February. The following day, he was informed that the vesicular disease was FMD - and that should have sent alarm-bells ringing. It was inconceivable that he didn't know about the disease.
Dr Alexandersen's evidence states that the virus excretions peaked between 15th - 19th February 2001 plus or minus 1 day.
Dr Kitching said that the disease could not have been missed.
Mr Cosgrove closed the Prosecution submission at 12.14pm.
Closing submission for the Defendant:
12.15pm Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC
The prosecution case is simple: look at the evidence of the experts. Robert Waugh must have known the disease was present. The case is too simple and it is necessary to look at the broader picture.
Mr Waugh says he did not see signs of illness or suffering. He is a man of good character and has been involved with pigs for 40 years. He kept a dirty farm but his pigs were strong and healthy. Mr Waugh was a regular supplier to Cheale Meats and there was never anything wrong with them.
The prosecution say that 15th/16th February would have been the height of the outbreak and any pig farmer should have seen it. There are only two possibilities: either Mr Waugh didn't see it; or he saw it and did nothing about it. And Mr Waugh says it was the first. The second is inconceivable.
It is inconceivable that Mr Waugh should allow his pigs that had always been his life and livelihood to suffer for days on end; or that he should not notice if pigs had earlier been in the condition of 24th February 2001.
So it is necessary to look at the evidence in detail to see whether Mr Waugh may be telling the truth, because he was best placed to see if there was widespread illness in his herd. And if he did not, that is potent evidence that it was not there to be seen.
Mr Stuart-Smith closed the Defence submission at 3.53pm
Judge Prowse will give his ruling at 2pm on Thursday 30th May.
It would not be possible to give a full account of closing submissions due to the complexity and number of charges laid against Bobby Waugh. Hopefully, the above will give a brief outline of the main charge of failing to notify MAFF of disease in pigs.