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Bruce Jobson's account of the trial of Bobby Waugh in May 2002

Day 5 and 6

The trial of Bobby Waugh continued for only two days this week. Judge Prowse had a long-standing prior engagement at another court and was unable to be present.

MAFF vet Jim Dring continued his expert evidence confirming that there were 6 to 8 large barrels standing underneath two trailer-bodies at Burnside Farm on or about 23rd February 2001.

Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC suggested to Mr Dring that if the barrels had contained unprocessed waste food that Mr Dring would have recorded and noted his observations. JSS repeated the same question on two more occasions to Mr Dring.

JSS suggested that in the three witness statements provided by Mr Dring on the 8th and 14th March as well as, 12th April, that Mr Dring did not suggest there was any waste in the barrels under the trailer. JSS requested that Mr Dring provide a "yes", or "no" answer to the question.

Mr Dring was unable to recollect the exact contents of the barrels and JSS suggested that "the simple truth is that knowing a possible prosecution was in place - if you at that time had identified 8 barrels under the trailer - you would have said so, wouldn't you?" Mr Dring replied,"That these statements reflect what I said at the time."

MAFF Animal Health Officer Mr Jim Storey also confirmed that 6 to 10 barrels were underneath the trailer when he assisted Mr Dring in his duties on 23rd February. JSS asked Mr Storey as to the reason he had not noted that the bins may have contained "raw, unprocessed swill." JSS suggested that the bins contained rubbish but not food matter.

On the subject of identification of FMD on the premises the previous day, 22nd February, JSS suggested to Mr Storey that Mr Dring was not able to accurately identify the disease. Mr Storey replied, "No. He was." Mr Storey then confirmed JSS line of questioning that Mr Dring had requested Mr Storey to kill a pig in order that Mr Dring examine it more closely. JSS again suggested that Mr Dring was unable to visually identify FMD in the pig. Mr Storey replied, "Ask Mr Dring." JSS suggested there was no need to kill the pig having taken blood-samples.

On Tuesday, Castle Morpeth Trading Standards Officer Mr Rupert Hedley stated that in February 2001, only 8 to 10 barrels were standing beneath the trailer bodies on the concrete apron at Burnside Farm and that the barrels did not appear to be of any significance. JSS suggested that if the barrels had been of any real significance Mr Hedley would have noted their content and number. Mr Hedley agreed.

On Tuesday afternoon, foreman of the MAFF Cleansing and Disinfecting team, Mr Chris Armstrong, stated that he carried out his official duties between 7th and 16th March and that all waste food had been properly disposed. JSS asked, "ALL waste food on site?". To which Mr Armstrong replied, "Yes."

Mr Angus, Northumberland County Council Trading Standards Animal Health Inspector had made three visits to Burnside Farm during the previous two years, and on each occasion had never seen waste food on the premises. He stated in open-court that, "I'd never seen waste food on the premises, even when I went down (to inspect) the (open) fire."

Mr Angus confirmed that he had been informed of Mr Waugh's arrangement to dispose of dead pigs by burning in a tank. Mr Angus had inspected the (open) fire and found no remnants of dead pigs. Mr Angus had visited Burnside on 11th February 2000 to check animal movements and recorded in his note-book:"Movements. No suggestion of any carcases. Buries ash."

However, on the previous day, Monday, video evidence submitted by Castle Morpeth Trading Standards showed 24 barrels of unprocessed waste food. The video was taken at Burnside on 27th April 2001 (approximately, 9 weeks after confirmation of FMD and 6 weeks after Mr Armstrong's cleansing and disinfecting team completed disposal operations on the premises)

Bobby Waugh's Trial - Day 7 & 8

After a five-day break in proceedings the Bobby Waugh trial resumed at 10am on Monday 20th May at Bedlington Magistrates Court.

Although a full day of proceedings had been planned the previous week, only one witness, Mr Dunn, was called by the prosecution that day. Mr Dunn hastily arrived at court and took the witness stand at 10.52am.

Mr Dunn kept pigs as a 'hobby' at nearby Peterlee and sent his last two remaining pigs to Burnside Farm on Sunday January 14th 2001. Mr Dunn stated that he had six or seven previous business transactions with the Waugh brothers, but always had dealings with Bobby's brother, Ronnie.

When questioned by Mr Paddy Cosgrove QC for the prosecution, Mr Dunn stated that he only had business dealings with one of the Waugh brothers and said "it was always Ronnie". When he arrived at Burnside Farm on 14th January, Mr Dunn handed the movement license to Ronnie Waugh. Mr Dunn later confirmed that he was paid by cheque on the day of the transaction and the cheque was written and signed by Ronnie Waugh.

At 11.01am, Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC, cross examined Mr Dunn's evidence for the defence. Mr Dunn stated that he and his business-partner always dealt with Ronnie Waugh and they always phoned Ronnie, not Bobby Waugh. JSS reminded Mr Dunn, that in his statement taken last year, that he had described his business transactions being undertaken 'at Ronnie Waugh's farm' and 'at Ronnie Waugh's farmgate'. And that Mr Dunn had received his cheque that day. Mr Dunn agreed with the statement and confirmed that Bobby only helped weigh the pigs and Ronnie always wrote the cheque.

At 11.07am, Mr Cosgrove re-examined Mr Dunn's evidence as to the date the transaction took place and Mr Dunn believed that he wrote the movement license on the previous day, 13th January and moved the two pigs on the 14th. Mr Dunn was thanked and released as a witness at 11.10am

JSS produced chequebook stubs showing that Ronnie Waugh had written the cheque on the previous week, 7th January, and the cheque was cleared on 15th January. This could not have happened on the 14th January as the prosecution claimed. Charges against Mr Bobby Waugh of failing to keep accurate movement records was amended by the prosecution to reflect the actual (or accurate) date of movement and transaction as recorded in Mr Waugh's chequebook.

Court proceedings finished at 11.16am

On Tuesday 21st May, the prosecution called Dr Paul Kitching, formerly of Pirbright, to give his evidence. Dr Kitching, an acknowledged world expert on FMD currently works at Winnipeg, Canada, and had been summoned to give evidence with regard to his visit to Burnside on February 24th 2001.

Dr Kitching said that numerous pigs showed signs of distress, lesions and blisters. According to Dr Kitching, some of the lesions had been present for a period of 1 to 7 days. He stated that the pigs didn't get up and didn't look happy and huddled together in their pens.Dr Kitching also stated that many of the pigs were lame but this was also a condition associated with pigs being kept on concrete.

At 11.20am JSS cross-examined Dr Kitching's evidence and asked if he agreed that lesions on the snout could be the result of other causes to which Dr Kitching replied, "Yes".  When questioned about mortality in very young pigs, Dr Kitching said that up to 50% of young pigs could die from being exposed to FMD and that pregnant sows affected by the disease could lead to abortion.

JSS asked several questions about the timing of abortion within the gestation period and asked Dr Kitching the precise gestation period of a pig to which he replied three months.

Later in the day, Dr Kitching requested to change his evidence to 'slightly longer than three months.'

JSS asked Dr Kitching if any pigs had lost part of a claw owing to "thimbling" - a term used to define where the horn is close to being lost - to which he replied, "I saw pigs without horn and pigs 'thimbling'.

Questioned further by JSS as to the actual number, Dr Kitching replied, "I couldn't put a number on it."

Dr Kitching's notes taken on the actual day of his inspection revealed that one animal known as "Pig 91" had been a severe case and had been recorded in his notebook as such.

On re-examination of this evidence by the prosecution, Dr Kitching was once again pressed as to the number of pigs suffering from 'thimbling''. On this occasion, Dr Kitching stated that up to 10% of animals had raw flesh exposed on feet (meaning approximately 52 animals?) and added that he was disgusted at the number of pigs suffering from the effects of FMD.

Bobby Waugh began his evidence (today) Day 9 and is expected to conclude his evidence on Day 10.

Bruce Jobson - 22,05.02

Bruce Jobson reports on Bobby Waugh's Trial

Day 9

Many thanks for all the comments regarding the proceedings of the Bobby Waugh trial especially, those received from farming, agricultural and overseas contacts.

One point that should be clarified (as I am continually asked) and would therefore like to confirm, that officials from Northumberland County Council and Trading Standards have conducted themselves in an impeccable manner throughout the trial. This also refers to the testimony of several of the Trading Standards Animal Health Officers involved with the trial.

At 2.22pm, Wednesday 22nd May, Bobby Waugh took the witness stand at Bedlington Magistrates Court.

Jeremy Stuart-Smith (JSS) opened the defence case by inviting Mr Waugh to establish his credibility as a pig farmer. Mr Waugh stated that he had been around pigs 'ever since I could walk' and having left school at the age of 15, became involved with the family business run by his father and elder-brother, Ronnie.

When questioned by JSS as to whether Mr Waugh had ever reported a disease in his pigs to the authorities, Mr Waugh replied that he had notified Durham MAFF of Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD) being present in his herd during 1974. Mr Waugh stated that the pigs were checked by the MAFF and tests were taken the following day, Saturday. According to Mr Waugh, Durham Trading Standards had later phoned and stated everything was satisfactory with the pigs.

However, on the following Tuesday, Mr Waugh's pigs were confirmed as having SVD (For those of a non-agricultural background, the signs and symptoms of SVD are indistinguishable from that of FMB)  For the benefit of the court, Mr Waugh produced a 30-year-old MAFF leaflet showing photographs of pigs infected with SVD.

Questioned as to whether he would have reported FMD in his pigs before the 22nd February 2001, Mr Waugh said,"Yes, I would have no reason not to because I wouldn't gain anything financially. I wouldn't get anywhere, I'd just end-up with a farm full of lame pigs."

Mr Waugh claimed that his pigs appeared healthy and were eating normally during the days running up to the discovery of FMD on his farm. He said that he usually arrived at Burnside Farm at 9am and always checked round the pigs prior to carrying out his feeding routine.

JSS questioned Mr Waugh as to whether his pigs were ill on the 22nd February 2001 and he replied, "No. Everything was feeding normally. They're healthy when feeding". Mr Waugh explained that it was his normal working practice to 'double-feed' his pigs on the previous day (Wednesday 21st) as it was his normal routine to attend Darlington Mart on Thursday. As his pipeline system was still frozen, this task was performed by bucket-feeding the swill over the wall of the pig pens and into the troughs.

JSS said that despite Dr Kitching's expertise the previous day, Dr Kitching was unable to assist the court with the actual gestation period of a sow. Mr Waugh replied, "112-days."

(Thanks for everyone round the world - especially former-agricultural students for making contact on that one - yes, the standard, "Three months-three weeks-three days)

Questioned on lameness and lesions within pig herds, Mr Waugh replied that it was a common feature amongst swill-fed units due to the abrasive concrete flooring and troughs. According to Mr Waugh, pigs could be seen with lesions everyday at local auction markets and outdoor pigs could get snout lesions by digging into the ground.

Mr Waugh explained that he collected swill from local schools and English and Italian restaurants in the area. The swill was poured into or augured into boiling tanks at neighbouring Heddon View Farm and cooked at 93.3c for a period of four hours. The swill was then bailed into barrels and taken down to Burnside Farm (approx. 45 metres by road from farm-to-farm) Mr Waugh confirmed that his swill pipeline system often froze during the winter months and rather than spend time thawing the system out on a daily-basis, preferred to feed his pigs by bucketing the swill into the trough. The cutlery contained within the cooked-swill entered the pens via that route.

Mr Waugh confirmed that his premises had been inspected on 24th January 2001 by MAFF vet Jim Dring. The inspection had taken approximately one hour and included examination of the pigs, plant, tanks, pumps and farmyard premises. Asked whether Mr Dring had checked the pens, Mr Waugh replied, "Yes." Asked whether pieces of cutlery were in the pens at the time of Mr Dring's inspection, Mr Waugh confirmed that on average 3 or 4 items were in each pen, although some would have more.

Mr Waugh confirmed that the (open) fire and waste-heap on the premises had been present on Burnside Farm prior to his occupancy and that Mr Dring knew of its presence. Mr Waugh was asked whether the fire and waste heap had changed in appearance and he replied the area was "four-times bigger by the time MAFF had been there."

Proceedings finished at 4.20pm

Day 10

The trial of Bobby Waugh resumed at 10.05am, Thursday 23rd May at Bedlington Magistrates Court, Northumberland.

Jeremy Stuart-Smith continued the defence by inviting Mr Waugh to explain his association with Cheale Meats. Mr Waugh confirmed that the Waugh's had supplied the Essex-based abattoir with pigs for the past 15 years. The Waugh's had sent pigs to Cheale Meats on Thursday 15th February and on Monday 19th February, Mr Waugh received a phone call from Andrew Cheale stating that the premises had been closed down owing to a case of SVD being identified in a group of pigs that had arrived over the weekend from Buckingham and the Isle of Wight.

Mr Waugh was told there was nothing to be concerned about as his pigs had passed the required veterinary inspection on Friday. The following day, Tuesday, 20th February, Mr Waugh received another phone call from Cheale Meats in which he was informed that the disease had been confirmed by MAFF as FMD and not SVD. Mr Waugh told the court he was not concerned at that stage as the outbreak had occured 300 miles away in Essex.

On Wednesday 23rd February, Mr Waugh received a telephone call from MAFF vet Jim Dring in which he was informed of the disease being present at Cheale Meats and as a close-contact with the abattoir, requested that MAFF inspect his premises at Burnside Farm. Mr Waugh told the court that he had invited Mr Dring to inspect his pigs that very day and offered to meet Mr Dring, "Right now." Mr Dring didn't accept Mr Waugh's invitation.

Later that day, Mr Dring arranged an appointment following a telephone conversation with Mr Waugh's sister for the next day, Thursday, 22nd February at 2pm. Mr Waugh had anticipated going to Darlington on Thursday morning and said he would be back at Burnside between 12 and 1pm.

JSS asked Mr Waugh whether he would have noticed any of the symptoms in his pigs as described by Dr Kitching in his evidence. Mr Waugh confirmed that he would have noticed the symptoms but his pigs showed no sign of having the disease and they were feeding normally. The pigs were still eating and not lethargic.

Mr Waugh said he was still unconcerned about having the disease as Cheale Meats was a considerable distance away from Burnside Farm and stated, "My pigs went to Cheale Meats on the 16th - I think there were 38 on the 15th (time of leaving) and nothing was lame. They all went onto the top deck of the wagon. There was nothing wrong with the pigs."

Mr Waugh did not attend Darlington Mart as planned owing to the exportation-ban being imposed and instead went to Burnside Farm to wait for Mr Dring. Mr Waugh said he fed sows and generally worked around the premises.

At 2pm, Mr Dring and Mr Storey arrived, whilst a third MAFF official, Mr Hine, visited Mr Brown's premises at Heddon View.  According to Mr Waugh, Mr Storey drew a plan of the buildings whilst Mr Waugh accompanied Mr Dring into Shed 2 and not as Mr Dring claimed, Shed 1. Mr Dring checked every pen and every pig including snouts in Shed 2 and said to Mr Waugh, "Nothing to worry about there."

Mr Waugh and Mr Dring entered Shed 3. According to Mr Waugh there was very little to be concerned about and in one pen found a pig with a loose nail but no blisters. Mr Dring asked Mr Waugh for permission to kill a smaller pig in the same pen. Mr Waugh agreed to the request. The pig was then hung on the wall in order that Mr Dring could look into the dead animal's mouth.

Mr Waugh claims that Mr Dring was uncertain about identifying FMD and said if a blood-sample were to be taken it would have to be sent to London. Mr Waugh replied that, "If it had to be sent to London, it had to be sent to London." Mr Hine arrived at Burnside Farm from Heddon View and assisted the proceedings and further blood-samples were taken from pigs in pen 14 and 16.

Mr Waugh stated that MAFF officials used cruel methods in order to obtain samples by using a wire-noose that went round the pig's head and into the mouth and proceeded to drag the struggling pigs a distance of 20 metres to the front of the pens (through the faeces) to be blood-sampled.

According to Mr Waugh, the temperatures of the pigs had been taken and he was informed that they were, "Normal." JSS asked Mr Waugh whether Mr Dring and Mr Storey did anything else that day and Mr Waugh stated that Mr Storey wanted to inject another pig in order to "Slow it down." Mr Waugh agreed and further samples were taken including a nose tissue sample that had to be removed by the use of pliers by Mr Dring.

Mr Waugh stated he was only given the "C" form that day, and not an "A" form as suggested by Mr Dring. According to Mr Waugh, he was given the "A" form (notification of an infected premises) by Mr Dring at 10.30am the following day, Friday, after a telephone conversation between Mr Dring and London confirming FMD on the premises, although, both forms had been signed and dated by Mr Hine on the previous day.

After the telephone call confirming confirmation of FMD, Mr Dring asked if Mr Waugh had any cooked-swill on the premises. Mr Waugh informed Mr Dring that he hadn't had any cooked-swill as Mr Waugh had been unable to get out and cook the swill on Thursday at Mr Brown's farm. Mr Waugh had pig-meal on farm and, knowing he was unable to visit Mr Brown's uninfected premises on Friday morning, had already ordered meal from Stokesley following confirmation of FMD.  According to Mr Waugh, Mr Dring queried his actions on ordering meal to which Mr Waugh replied, "I thought we were talking FMD here, Jim."

Mr Dring asked if any (un-cooked) unprocessed-swill was on the premises. Mr Waugh confirmed that unprocessed swill was on the concrete apron outside the premises and had not been able to be transported to Heddon View on Thursday due to the MAFF visit. Mr Dring suggested that Mr Waugh feed the unprocessed-swill to the pigs. According to Mr Waugh, he questioned this action but was informed that it would not matter as his pigs were all going to be killed due to FMD.

According to Mr Waugh's testimony, he accompanied Mr Dring to Shed 2 and whilst in that building, Mr Dring stated that "this pig has had it for 4 weeks, this one for
three weeks, this one for two weeks." Mr Waugh replied, "Well, that puts you right in it, Jim. You were here 4 weeks ago, why didn't you find it then?" Mr Waugh alleges that Mr Dring then changed his opinion and said, "this one has had it two weeks, this one for two weeks."

Mr Waugh was requested by Mr Dring to nominate an auctioneer as valuer for compensation purposes and requested Mr Thompson from Thirsk. Despite numerous attempts to contact Mr Thompson at the mart and by mobile phone, Mr Waugh had to abandon his initial suggestion. According to Mr Waugh, Mr Dring suggested an auctioneer from Ponteland Mart but this was unacceptable to Mr Waugh as he said that particular auctioneer had little or no experience in valuing 'finished-pigs'. Mr Waugh stated, "This would be like getting a coal-man to value your antiques."

Later that morning, another auctioneer from Hexham Mart, Mr Whitlock telephoned Mr Waugh and asked if FMD had been confirmed at Burnside Farm. Mr Waugh offered Mr Whitlock the task of valuing the pigs that were due to be slaughtered.

Mr Waugh continued with his evidence on Thursday 24th MAY. Mr Waugh is also charged with recording keeping offences in relation to two pig movements onto Burnside Farm.

JSS asked Mr Waugh as to the date that two pigs were delivered to Burnside Farm by Mr Dunn. Mr Waugh informed the court that the pigs arrived on Sunday Jan 7th and not 14th January as the prosecution had claimed. Mr Waugh produced his chequebook for the benefit of the court. Mr Waugh confirmed his brother Ronnie always wrote the cheques and that the writing on the chequebook stub, was that of Ronnie Waugh. Mr Dunn gave Ronnie Waugh the pig movement license and he proceeded to put the license into his pocket and would normally have subsequently given the license to his sister to record in the movement book.

JSS asked Bobby Waugh who should have taken steps to ensure that the appropriate documentation had been accurately recorded. Mr Waugh replied, "Ronnie, but he was bad (ill) at the time and had been bad before (this) - with cancer." Bobby Waugh confirmed that the license was later found in Ronnie Waugh's pocket.

After a short recess, the court resumed at 11.45am. JSS asked Mr Waugh what he would normally use to bed-up his pigs and he replied, "Sawdust." Mr Waugh said that he was unable to bed-up his pigs between February 22nd and February 24th. Asked what effect that would have on the conditions of his pigs, Mr Waugh relied that "this would make the pigs dirty and the floor would be slippy."

Mr Waugh confirmed that Mr Dring had asked if he could use Mr Waugh's sawdust on the morning of Friday 23rd February in order to make a disinfectant-mat across the road. Mr Waugh said he wanted to bed his pigs but agreed to Mr Dring's request. (On Saturday 24th February Trading Standards officers took video-evidence of the pigs and the dirty conditions of the pens.This evidence and conditions that the pigs were kept under was produced in court at the beginning of the trial)

Mr Waugh said that he had never been cruel to his pigs and had never allowed a stick to be used on the farm (in order to move pigs) and had never fed unprocessed swill to his animals except on Friday 23rd February.

At 12.12am, Mr Paddy Cosgrove cross-examined Mr Waugh on behalf of the prosecution.

Mr Cosgrove opened his cross-examination in a ferocious manner by stating Mr Waugh had lied at the time by deliberately failing to notify MAFF officials and had continued to lie since, and had lied under oath. Mr Waugh replied to Mr Cosgrove's repeated allegations about Mr Waugh lying by stating to Mr Cosgrove, "You're the one that's lying."

Mr Cosgrove stated that Mr Waugh knew his animals were infected and deliberately failed to notify officials of the disease. Mr Waugh denied the allegations. Mr Waugh denied allegations about feeding unprocessed swill to his pigs by stating "It's not worth it. Trading Standards can walk in anytime and inspect the premises and so can MAFF. I've always boiled swill."

Mr Cosgrove questioned Mr Waugh as to the state of pig farming and suggested that Mr Waugh had fed unprocessed swill in order to save money. Mr Waugh denied the allegation and stated that he bought his own fuel and that it cost him 120 per week to cook swill at Heddon View Farm.

Mr Cosgrove suggested that Mr Waugh could have used a pumping system and hose-pipe to operate the swill extraction process at Heddon View but Mr Waugh said that the system required two people to operate and Mr Waugh was often on his own. He therefore preferred to bail the processed-swill into drums, take it to Burnside Farm and bucket-fed his pigs. No matter which system used, Mr Waugh still had to transport the swill to Burnside.

At 3.45pm, JSS re-examined Mr Waugh's evidence.

Mr Waugh was asked how he believed the disease got into his herd and replied, "I don't know but its been in the sheep for a long time. I'd burned some sheep in my farm just prior to this that belonged to a friend of Mr Leadbitter."

Proceedings ended at 4pm.

Bruce Jobson - 25th May 2002

Report of Bobby Waugh's Trial - Day 11

The trial of Bobby Waugh continued on Friday 24th May at Bedlington Magistrates Court, Northumberland.

A co-joint report had been compiled for the defence by Professor Penny and Dr Smith into veterinary and welfare matters relating to the evidence provided by the Prosecution. In order to save valuable court time, Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith had suggested (in court) the previous day (Thursday) that the report be allowed to stand as evidence and copies could also be made available to members of the press with an appropriate embargo on its publication.

Mr Paddy Cosgrove, for the Prosecution, raised no objections at that time, but the following day, upon reflection and close-scrutiny, Mr Cosgrove objected to certain sections of the report that in his legal opinion contained "inadmissible evidence." Mr Cosgrove also questioned Professor Penny's status as an expert witness on certain matters in relation to his evidence.

JSS suggested that the report was admissible and quoted "Archbold" section 1061, "An expert report is admissible as evidence..etc." After deliberation, Judged Prowse ruled that Prof. Penny should give his evidence "in court" and requested JSS to establish the credibility of his expert witness.

At 10.49am, Prof. Penny swore the oath and took the witness stand. According to JSS, the list of eminent and international appointments contained in Prof Penny's CV would take too much of the court's valuable time and he would therefore place limits upon it. In response to each individual appointment held by Professor Penny, dating back to 1946, Professor Penny merely answered, "Yes." Twelve minutes later; 11.01am, Professor Penny (PP) began his expert evidence.

JSS requested PP to provide the court with evidence related to matter of lameness with the pig population, especially, sows. PP said that from 300,000 sows culled annually, 10-11% of sows were culled each year due to lameness.

On the subject of frequency of foot lesions, PP said that a report compiled from evidence taken within two abattoirs had suggested that 64% of pigs suffered from foot lesions. The frequency of lameness was higher in swill-fed units such as Burnside Farm because a) swill was acid - highly acid between 4-5. b) concrete floors contain limestone and acid eats concrete and therefore exposes the sharp aggregate to the animal's feet and snouts.

Questioned on the state of the concrete floors at Burnside Farm, PP stated that the floors would have been "traumatic" for feet and noses causing the animals to have lesions and ulcers as they walked round and snuffled for food. Lameness could result in more than one hoof as a result of the claws being a 'mirror-image". In swill-fed units, on occasions, lesions could be seen on 2, 3 and 4 feet. JSS asked whether PP had ever seen cases of horn being shed from a claw other than by FMD. PP produced a photograph for the court's benefit of a pig that had shed it's horn by a combination of natural wear and tear, environmental and bacterial infection.

PP said that pigs often 'huddled" together and "piled" in order to keep warm as they do not like cold weather. He said that pigs do not have a "hide" and are exposed to the elements more than other animals. The video-evidence taken at Burnside Farm on the 24th February could indicate the pigs were suffering from mild hypothermia because of the very cold weather.

On the subject of identification of FMD, PP said that the disease was easier to identify in cattle and more difficult to identify in sheep, with identification in pigs being between the two species. JSS pointed out to the court that only 36 of the first 73 cases in the FMD outbreak of 2001 had been reported by owners.

JSS questioned PP as to the requirements of a vet in regard to licensing inspections and in particular the inspection carried-out by MAFF vet Jim Dring at Burnside Farm on the 24th January 2001. PP said that a vet had a responsibility to look after animals in his care and that responsibility extended to licensing and welfare issues. An oath had to be sworn by anyone entering the veterinary profession to that effect.

At 2.23pm Mr Cosgrove cross-examined Professor Penny on behalf of the Prosecution.

Mr Cosgrove acknowledge Professor Penny's "distinguished and eminent" career and suggested that PP should accept "in total" the evidence provided by Dr Kitching and Dr Alexanderson to which PP replied, "Of the disease, yes." PP said he did not know if Pirbright had evidence in relation to the rate of horn-growth and other welfare and veterinary matters.

Mr Cosgrove asked PP if he was suggesting that renowned world experts were unable to accurately identify as to the causes of lesions and of the different rates of horn growth to which he replied, "I consider they might be." Mr Cosgrove enquired if that answered suggested "incompetence"? PP replied, "No."

PP suggested the MAFF booklet that contained various photographs presented as evidence in court, did not mention the size, age and weight of sows and that was a relevant factor. "In my experience and in my interpretation of the literature, scientists can be wrong," he said. Mr Cosgrove suggested that PP had delivered a slur against the world renowned experts that had provided evidence to the court. PP replied, "It is a criticism, not a slur."

Mr Cosgrove suggested that Professor Penny was giving expert evidence but that the evidence was not objective. PP refuted the allegation and stated his evidence was objective. Mr Cosgrove repeated his suggested that PP was being paid by the defence to provide evidence in court. Mr Cosgrove further reminded him that he was giving evidence under oath. Professor Penny appeared stunned at the allegation and following a scathing riposte added, "I am a churchgoer. And the oath means more to me - than it may to some others."

Mr Cosgrove said that 12 day old lesions had been found on pigs at Burnside Farm on the 24th February 2001. This would have taken the dating of the lesions to the 12th February and the infection must have been present prior to this date. PP doubted this evidence and said, "35 of Mr Waugh's pigs had been sent to Cheale Meats on the 15th February. They were inspected (on the 16th February) prior to slaughter and after (anti and post-mortem) nothing was found. No lesions were found and they were hung up on a hook."

Professor Penny added that he did not believe that FMD had started at Bobby Waugh's farm, to which Mr Cosgrove replied, "I did not ask you that question."

Court proceedings finished at 3.55pm.

Court resumes on Monday 27th May with the resumption of defence evidence provided by Dr Smith. A verdict is expected on Thursday 30th June.

Bruce Jobson  -  26th May 2002

 Bobby Waugh's Trial - Day 12 - The Final Evidence

The trial of Bobby Waugh continued on Monday 27th May at Bedlington Magistrates Court, Northumberland.

Charge Six dropped:
At the conclusion of proceedings charges relating to animal movement records was withdrawn by the prosecution.

Mr David Hall gave evidence on behalf of the Defence. Mr Hall was formerly employed by the Waugh brothers for a period of ten years prior to the discovery of FMD at Burnside Farm.

Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith (JSS) asked Mr Hall to explain his daily work-routine and Mr Hall informed the court that he checked, fed and watered the breeding sows in Shed 3 upon arrival. He then proceeded to collect unprocessed swill from schools in Washington, Sunderland and Newcastle.

Mr Hall explained that upon his return, he delivered the unprocessed swill to Heddon View Farm and would collect any unprocessed swill that had been left on the concrete apron at Burnside Farm by Mr Clement. Mr Hall said that if his vehicle was full to capacity, he would drive past Burnside Farm to Heddon View, then return to Burnside Farm and collect the barrels, before proceeding back to Heddon View.

JSS questioned Mr Hall as to the cooking and boiling facilities. Mr Hall explained that the barrels were poured or augured into the tanks and he removed cutlery and crockery but some items would still get into the tank. Mr Hall stated that when the cooked-swill was bailed out by bucket, pieces of cutlery remained in the swill and would subsequently be poured into the troughs at Burnside.

Mr Hall confirmed that the swill-feeding pipeline had frozen during November 2000. However, when the pipeline was operating under normal weather conditions, cutlery and crockery would be unable to pass through the pipeline system. Mr Hall stated that neither he, nor Mr Waugh, had ever fed unprocessed swill prior to Friday 23rd February. Mr Hall said he had only fed unprocessed swill on 23rd February after MAFF vet Jim Dring had given authorisation.

Mr Hall informed the court that on that particular day, the feeding of unprocessed swill had taken three times longer to undertake, as Mr Hall had to shovel the swill into the troughs rather than using a bucket.

At 10.58am, Mr Paddy Cosgrove cross-examined Mr Hall's evidence for the prosecution.

Mr Hall explained that it was easier to bail processed-swill out of the cooking-tanks at Heddon View and that cutlery from schools was often contained within the swill. The hose-pipe system was problematic to use and swill spilled-out over the barrels. Mr Hall said that he visited Heddon View on four or five occasions every week as well as attending on most Saturdays.

At 12.02pm, Dr Bill Smith gave evidence to the court.

Dr Smith and Professor Penny wrote a co-joint report giving their professional opinion on matters relating to veterinarian and welfare matters.

JSS asked Dr Smith to explain the results of various trails and post-mortems carried out on pigs. Dr Smith stated that 15% of all female pigs suffered from a condition know as Osteochondrosis. The condition was quadrilateral (one-joint-all joints) resulting in pigs being very stiff (the condition being similar to arthritis) Dr Smith explained that pigs walked with a peculiar gait when suffering from this condition, resulting in pigs having a "crouched-back."

On the subject of lesions, Dr Smith explained that in one particular trial involving 10,000 pigs from 71 farms, no fewer than 14 types of different lesions had been identified, of which 2 particular lesions mimicked lesions in FMD. According to Dr Smith, Excessory Digit Lesions (EDL) resembled a healing FMD lesion and  25.6% of the pigs within the trial had suffered from this bilateral condition. EDL lesions were found at a rate of 1.25 lesions per pig and 21.1% of pigs had more than one lesion.

Dr Smith explained that 4 of the 71 farms within the trial had similar conditions as Burnside Farm (concrete pens as opposed to slats and straw yards) and the abrasive concrete floors produced "traumatic" lesions. The results obtained from these four farms demonstrated that 95.4% of all pigs suffered from lesions.

JSS asked the relevance to conditions at Burnside Farm and Dr Smith replied that a) clinical signs and posture could mimic FMD b) many pig lesions on or above the coronary band would be present. Lesions of the snout and teat would be present and snout lesions would be due to trauma.

Mr Smith explained that farmers often checked pigs at feeding time and as long as the pigs were eating and came forward to the trough on these occasions, farmers would assume the animals to be in good health.

At 2.03pm, Mr Cosgrove cross-examined Dr Smith's evidence on behalf of the prosecution. Mr Cosgrove acknowledge Dr Smith's depth of knowledge and expertise. Mr Cosgrove asked whether any farmer that had seen SVD lesions during the 1970s would have been able to identify FMD lesions in 2001, especially in light of a MAFF publication on FMD being distributed during 1999.

Mr Smith stated that farmers quickly forget about leaflets. He also stated that during the 70s, farmers had been alerted to, and were therefore on the lookout on a daily-basis to the possibility of SVD being present.

At 2.24, the final witness, Mr Robert Whitelock was called by the Defence.

Mr Whitelock stated he was head-auctioneer for Hexham and Northern Marts and had previously held similar position at Tyneside Mart.

JSS asked Mr Whitelock to explain the events of Friday 23rd February 2001.

Mr Whitelock stated that on hearing of the possibility of FMD being present at nearby Burnside Farm, had taken the precaution to telephone the Carlisle division of MAFF that Friday morning. He explained that Hexham Mart had a scheduled cattle sale planned for that day and requested clarification to proceed with the auction.

Mr Whitelock said, "I phoned MAFF on Friday - and was given the 'green-light' to go ahead."  However, Mr Whitelock said that he later took the decision upon himself to cancel the sale.

Mr Whitelock had been instructed by MAFF later that day to act as valuer to Mr Waugh and arrived at Burnside Farm at 2.30pm. Mr Whitelock stated the pigs at Burnside Farm were in "good condition" (body-condition) and healthy. He said the vast majority of the pigs "were in good condition and ready for slaughter."

JSS asked how Mr Whitelock carried-out the valuation and Mr Whitelock replied that he had to mark the pigs with a "cross" in order to provide an accurate count. Asked as for any particular reason, Mr Whitelock replied the pigs were moving round the pens and had to be marked in order to accurately carryout the count.

When asked by JSS as to whether the pigs suffered from widespread "lameness", Mr Whitelock replied, "No." Pressed further as to whether the pigs suffered from "widespread illness", Mr Whitelock again replied, "No."

JSS established that Mr Whitelock had subsequently observed FMD on other farms (for valuation purposes) When asked about comparisons between Mr Waugh's animals and those that Mr Whitelock had later seen on other affected premises, Mr Whitelock said, "I couldn't observe the disease at Burnside Farm until I had asked the vet." He continued, "I certainly wouldn't have been able to detect it."

Having had the disease pointed-out by MAFF vet Jim Dring, Mr Whitelock was asked whether he thought the herd was diseased and replied, "No." Further pressed by JSS as to whether he thought the pigs were adversely affected after Mr Dring had indicated the disease was present, Mr Whitelock replied, "No. Not particularly."

Mr Whitelock explained to the court that pigs were lying down in some pens and were able to get up. Mr Whitelock added he had entered "just about every pen that was there." Asked whether the behaviour of the pigs was unusual he replied, "No. Not particularly, No."

At 3.42pm, Mr Cosgrove cross-examined Mr Whitelock's evidence on behalf of the Prosecution.

Mr Whitelock explained that when he entered "many of the pens", he didn't have to get the pigs to stand-up and the animals were "running around." Mr Whitelock said he had not entered certain pens and was able to count the pigs from the outside of the pen. Mr Whitelock stated that some pigs had to be "got-up" when he and Mr Dring went amongst them.

Mr Cosgrove asked whether the pigs were easy to get-up and Mr Whitelock said,"Mr Dring would go in and put them-up." Mr Cosgrove asked whether Mr Dring had "forced them?" Mr Whitelock replied, "No. Just eased-up with his foot."

At the conclusion of Mr Whitelock's evidence Mr Cosgrove requested that the Prosecution would like to make submission regarding Charge Six.


The evidence of Mr Dunn and Mr Bobby Waugh was not in disagreement and under normal circumstances Mr Ronnie Waugh, as person with responsibility with regard to these matters, would normally have passed the license to his sister for recording within the movement-book. The Prosecution accepted that Mr Ronnie Waugh had been suffering from cancer and would therefore not proceed against Mr Bobby Waugh on Charge Six.

The Defence evidence finished at 4.04pm. Final submissions on behalf of the Defence and Prosecution will be given on Tuesday 28th May.

Bruce Jobson - 27th May 2002


Bobby Waugh's Trial - The Summing Up

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.

Finally, Bobby has asked, that I thank everyone for their messages of support over the past 14 months as well as, the good wishes offered to his brother Ronnie and the rest of the Waugh family. I would like to thank Farmtalking and Warmwell websites for requesting use of these reports.

The world will know the result of the Bobby Waugh trial at 2.30pm on Thursday. But will the world ever know: the real story?

Bruce Jobson - May 2002

May 30 2002
Bruce Jobson reports on the verdict today
The verdict of the Bobby Waugh trial was delivered today at Bedlington Magistrates Court.

It is not my place to pass judgement upon the wisdom of Judge Prowse on his ruling. However, when giving his ruling, there appeared to be not only several inaccuracies contained within his ruling but also several inconsistencies.

That opinion was shared by many members of the press who were gathered at the court. It should be said, that some of the journalists who expressed this opinion had been in attendance at Bedlington on a regular basis. And to be fair to those journalists, they had remained totally objective throughout the trial.

Several could not believe what they were hearing and everyone was stunned at the inference of using food from Chinese restaurants. Bobby had not collected or fed Chinese swill and Judge Prowse's comment was made all the more incredible by the fact that during 2001, the Government had compensated the local Chinese community to the sum of 20,000. Several hardened journalists were stunned.

The graphic video footage that has been aired on television tonight was taken on Saturday 24th February. In his own defence, Bobby stated that his pigs were "desperate" by that day. However, on Friday 23rd, MAFF had used Bobby's sawdust to make a disinfectant mat across the road and prevented him from bedding up his pigs. The pigs had been "bled" for analysis, dragged through the pens and were covered in pig-muck.

The pigs had been fed unprocessed swill on Friday evening on the direction of Jim Dring - and no one criticises him on that in the circumstances - but the following day -  Saturday - the video was taken showing the pigs covered in muck, "desperate" and unprocessed swill left lying in the troughs. The swill was undoubtedly left in the troughs because the pigs weren't used to eating uncooked swill. And any person that has worked with farm animals realises that you cannot stop, chop and change diets. Animals lose weight. And Bobby was in the business of fattening pigs.

However, the video taken on 24th February, did not reflect the welfare and conditions of  the animals on Thursday 22nd February. The video gave a false or worse, impression of what conditions were like on Burnside Farm at the time of the alleged offence.

Many thanks for all the e-mails, phone calls and messages received today.
                        And many stunned ones, since the verdict! 
Bobby will now be assessing his options with his legal team and thanks everyone for their messages of support.

Best wishes
Bobby Waugh's Trial - The Sentence

Bedlington Magistrates Court: 28th June 2003

Bobby Waugh attended Bedlington Magistrates Court to receive sentencing from Judge James Prowse.

At 2.28pm Judge Prowse entered Court 5 and before passing sentence heard various points put forward by the prosecution and defence teams. Mr Paddy Cosgrove QC was not in attendance for the prosecution and in his absence junior counsel Mr Tom Finch acted upon his behalf. Mr Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC and Oliver Glasgow acted on behalf of the defence.

At 3.12pm Judge Prowse returned to his chambers for further deliberation having taken into consideration the prosecutions request for costs of 90,000 to be brought against Mr Waugh. For the defence, JSS stated that Mr Waugh had not been able to earn income since the FMD outbreak and had severe indebtedness to the bank. The family home, owned between Mr Waugh, his brother Ronnie and two sisters was valued at 48,000.

Judge Prowse returned at 3.35pm and pronounced sentence on Mr Waugh as follows.

1) Under the 1911 Animal Health Act , a ban on keeping pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses for a period of 15 years.

2) Curfew order and electronic-tagging restricting Mr Waugh to his own house for a period of three months between the hours of 8pm and 7am.

3) A of 10,000 fine to be paid within six months. Judge Prowse would review this figure (downward) should financial evidence provided by the defence be substantiated.

The second trial facing Mr Waugh has been delayed and will not take place next week as planned. A preliminary court-hearing is schedualed for 28th July 2002.

Bruce Jobson - 28th June 2002 

Report from Bruce Jobson -27 July 2002

Former-pig farmer Bobby Waugh may have been at the centre of further investigations this week - this time, it is claimed, by a leading Sunday newspaper.

On Wednesday, Ronnie and Bobby Waugh attended Darlington Market where staff and lorry-drivers informed the pair that someone was photographing their movements within the mart complex. The brothers have continued to visit the mart on a regular basis but have not purchased any animals.

Bobby Waugh followed the photographer for several hundred yards and when eventually confronted by Mr Waugh, the man stated he was taking photographs of "houses". The incident was reported by Mr Waugh to his solicitors.

On Thursday and Friday, Mr Waugh was telephoned on several occasions by a man describing himself as Paul Month. The man continually requested that Mr Waugh purchase pigs for an abattoir near Liverpool. Mr Waugh stated that due to ill-health, he was unable to work and offered to recommend several other people able to assist with the purchase. This offer was not taken up.

Mr Ronnie Waugh also offered to assist with recommendations of buyers but this offer was also declined. Ronnie Waugh is suffering from terminal cancer and also declined offers to purchase pigs for Mr Month.

Mr Month claimed to be in Newcastle "for a few days" but did not offer to arrange a meeting with the former Cheale Meat buyer and supplier. When Mr Waugh checked one of Mr Month's contact telephone numbers, it was listed as the Marriot Hotel at nearby Sunderland.

On Saturday morning, 27th July, Mr Waugh was confronted on his doorstep by a man who claimed to be a reporter from a leading Sunday newspaper. According to Mr Waugh, at no point did this person show any form of official identification to back-up his claim that he was employed by or, on behalf of a Sunday newspaper.

Mr Waugh was then shown two photographs taken at the mart and offered the right of reply. Mr Waugh said that he was not doing anything illegal. He stated he was banned from keeping farm animals but was allowed to attend marts and travel freely within the restrictions of his curfew sentence.

Mr Waugh also claimed the reporter said Cheale Meats had been interviewed and had stated that Mr Waugh was "acting as a buyer" for the abattoir. Mr Andrew Cheale has since denied this allegation and of an interview with any person or newspaper.

Bruce Jobson - 27-07-2002