A KILLINCHY farmer is this week beginning a prison sentence after admitting what a Stormont department believes is one of the most serious animal welfare cases ever seen in Northern Ireland.

    Over 70 pigs had to be euthanised at a farm owned by Nigel Foster after inspectors found them living in appalling conditions, including feeding off the carcases of dead animals.

    Dead pigs were found in various stages of decomposition while all the live animals were emaciated and under-nourished. Some pigs couldn’t stand up and inspectors found multiple plastic bags at the door of the sheds containing the carcases of dead piglets.

    The farm was at the Drumcaw Road, in Clough near Newcastle, but Foster is a farmer from the Whiterock Road, in Killinchy. Newry Crown Court heard he has previous convictions for causing unnecessary suffering to pigs.