Police and animal welfare officials swooped on a farm near Bromham because of concerns about the well being of a large number of livestock.
Police officers were executing a warrant looking for stolen goods at Wyatts Lake Farm at Westbrook on Friday morning when they came across the carcass of a pig.
They found more dead pigs on the farm and called in a RSPCA inspector, a vet from Defra, animal health officers from Wiltshire County Council and environmental health officers from Kennet District Council who spent several hours at the farm checking on the condition of pigs and chickens.
Lance Beale, who grows vegetables at Wyatts Lake Farm, is banned from keeping livestock following a long running court case and said a company, not him, was responsible for the welfare of the animals on the farm.
However, information from Companies House shows he is listed as a current director and company secretary of the said company.
Sgt Andy Peach of Wiltshire Police said the carcasses of about eight pigs were found and one pig, which was lame and malnourished, was despatched by a police firearms officer.
Police assisted colleagues from the other agencies in scattering feed where pigs and chickens were roaming.
Sgt Peach said: “As well as the dead pigs, police officers were concerned about other pigs which appeared to be in a malnourished state.”
No live animals were taken away from the farm, which is home to about 150 pigs, 200 chickens and one sheep.
Police scenes of crimes officers took photographs as part of an investigation that is being led by Wiltshire County Council’s trading standards department.
Two of the carcasses have been sent away for post mortem examination and the county council served an improvement notice on the farm to dispose of the remaining carcasses.
Mr Beale, 58, was not at the farm when the swoop took place but heard about it through a friend who called him.
While he was away from the farm an animal health inspector spoke to him on the phone to tell him that one pig needed to be destroyed or treated and he gave authorisiation for a police firearms officer to destroy it.
No stolen goods were found at the farm and no one has been arrested.
Under the Animal By Products Regulations farmers have to dispose of carcasses in a timely manner either through commercial incineration or commercial rendering.
Carcasses cannot be buried on farms.
John Devlin, Kennet area manager for Wiltshire trading standards, said an investigation had begun into whether offences had been committed regarding the disposal of carcasses or if any had been committed under the Animal Welfare Act.
He also said county council officers would continue to check on the welfare of the pigs at the farm.
On December 29 2005 Mr Beale was banned from keeping livestock for ten years by a judge at Salisbury Crown Court after he was convicted of 14 animal welfare charges relating to sheep he kept at Wyatts Lake Farm between November 2000 to January 2001.
On Tuesday Mr Beale told the Gazette that the remaining pig carcasses had been removed from Wyatts Lake Farm.
He also said: “The farm is owned by my sister but the animals are run by a company called WLF (1981) Ltd. They can consult me for my expertise. I can do the admin for them and write out the paperwork for them but as a banned person I mustn’t have any input into the welfare of the animals.
“The carcasses are an unsatisfactory state of affairs but are not a welfare issue in my view.”
Mr Beale, said he lived “on and off” at the farm, and grows asparagus, raspberries and strawberries there.
He added: “The improvement notices served by the county council was addressed to the company but served to me.
“I felt I was entitled to make a commercial decision on behalf of the company to authorise the destruction of the pig.”
According to Companies House, WLF (1981) Ltd was incorporated on August 29 2003. The registered office is 250 Westbrook (Wyatts Lake Farm) and the company grows vegetables and nursery products.
Mr Beale is listed as current director and company secretary while Elizabeth Jane Grant of The Common, Holt, Trowbridge, is named as a previous director.
The date of the latest accounts is August 31 2004 and on Tuesday of this week Companies House website said the company was dissolved.
Police and environmental health officers were this morning called to farm in Bromham after reports of dead animals on the site.
Inspector Chris Martin from Wiltshire Police said officers executed a warrant under the theft act this morning at Wyatts Lake Farm, Westbrook, near Bromham and while officers were there they came across dead farm animals.
As a result of that they called in RSPCA vets and environmental health inspectors, Kennet District Council and animal health officers from Wiltshire County Council. A Government vet is also on his way.
Police and others are investiagting the death of the animals. No-one has been arrested.
Insp Martin says there are around 100 dead animals inlcudings pigs and sheep.
HALLOWE'EN lanterns might look a little different this year, as the bad summer weather has hampered pumpkin crops.
One Wiltshire farmer's crop of pumpkins is down by 50 per cent this year and they have a decidedly green tinge having not ripened properly.
But conversely he has a bumper crop of cauliflowers, which have thrived in the wet weather.
Phil Collins, 49, of V&P Collins Farm Shop in Bromham, said: "We have only had three and a half trailer-loads this year whereas normally we get seven trailer loads.
"I've spoken to lots of other growers and they are all in the same boat as us.
"Cauliflowers on the other hand are doing ok - I haven't quite worked out how to make them into Hallowe'en lanterns yet though, they tend to fall apart."
Mr Collins said people might have to make do with green pumpkins this year as orange ones are in such short supply.
"We do have white ones as well which can look good for Hallowe'en and we have experimented with blue ones too," he added.
The scarcity of pumpkins in the UK this year has been made worse by similar shortages in Europe and the US who have suffered from either too hot or too wet summers.
Sheep farmer Lance Beale is appealing against his conviction for 14 animal welfare offences.
If granted this would be the second appeal brought by Mr Beale, of Wyatts Lake Farm, Westbrook .
He was convicted of 14 of 19 charges brought by Wiltshire County Council Trading Standards by a district judge on June 1 2004.
An appeal against this was upheld by a judge and two magistrates at Salisbury Crown Court on December 29 2005.
The charges relate to a period from November 2000 to the end of January 2001.
The conclusion of the second appeal had brought the total costs of the case, for both prosecution and defence, to more than £250,000.
Judge Keith Cutler sentenced Mr Beale to a conditional discharge for two years, banned him from keeping livestock for ten years and ordered him to pay £10,000 towards the prosecution costs.
The charges Mr Beale was convicted of included causing unnecessary suffering to sheep and lambs.
The prosecution said he did not treat or destroy them after some were attacked by dogs.
The injured sheep included a lamb whose leg was almost torn off.
Mr Beale said he had destroyed the sheep he considered to be the worst cases and said he intended to review the others when he returned to the farm later in the day.
Mr Beale has appealed against the conviction and sentence and a High Court judge is due to rule soon whether the appeal can go ahead.
Mr Beale said he could not talk about the details of the appeal but said he was determined to clear his name.
He said: "It was an erroneous prosecution. It's wrong and I need to see it to the end.
"I want someone else to look at the facts and if they come to the same conclusion I will have to take it on the chin.
"At the moment I don't feel guilty, I feel hard done by."
Mr Beale will seek legal aid if the matter goes to appeal. He said legal aid was not covering preliminary hearings.
He also said: "I'm not proud of the costs but this has to be done."
Mr Beale said a judge in the High Court had agreed to hold over the £10,000 costs order but he had not sought to lift the ban on keeping livestock.
Mr Beale's farm is now producing strawberries, raspberries and asparagus.