A Norwegian man has been sentenced to eight months in prison after state food and animal authorities found 340 dead pigs and at least another 45 either injured or sick on his farm in Jæren, southwestern Norway. It was the latest in a string of abuse cases in a farming industry that otherwise bills itself as tops in animal welfare.
The case dates back to 2017, when the dead and neglected animals were found by inspectors for Norway’s food safety authority Mattilsynet. Several of the dead pigs were found in the same pens as sick and starving pigs that eaten from the carcasses. A total of around 900 pigs were found on the farm dimensioned for 500-600, and their pens were both dark and cold in addition to being filthy.
At least 45 animals were immediately destroyed, to relieve their suffering, while another 10 died while inspectors were present. The farmer charged with extreme violations of Norwegian animal welfare laws claimed he’d had poor economy, hadn’t been able to sell his small pigs because of overproduction of pork and became overwhelmed by the need to care for them. He claimed he’d become both physically and mentally exhausted.
State broadcaster NRK reported that he was stripped of his right to keep animals after the inspection in 2017 and is no longer a farmer. The local court in Jæren ordered him to serve eight months in prison.