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At the conclusion of proceedings charges relating to animal movement records was withdrawn by the prosecution.

10.10am
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.

(Paraphrase)

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