British pig farmer Bobby Waugh was convicted this week on nine of 15 counts he had been charge with in relation to the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom. Waugh will face sentencing on June 28. Waugh could face up to 6 months in prison.
Waugh was convicted of five counts of failing to notify authorities of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, one count of feeding unprocessed waste to his pigs, one count of failing to properly dispose of animal waste, and two counts of causing unnecessary animal suffering.
Waugh’s farm appears to have been the initial source for the foot and mouth disease outbreak. Waugh’s pigs apparently contracted the disease after he gave them feed that had not been properly processed.
Waugh claimed he had no idea his pigs had contracted foot and mouth disease, but a video introduced during the trial shows his pigs suffering from what is clearly foot and mouth disease.
By failing to report the disease outbreak promptly, Waugh allowed what would have been an extremely localized event to expand into a large scale outbreak of foot and mouth disease that cost British farmers as much as $3 billion.
Farmer kept quit about disease. The BBC, May 30, 2002.
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