Offence Against Swine Fever Order

Hertfordshire Mercury, 4th September 1915


At the Hitchin Petty Sessions on Tuesday Thomas Tyler, of ‘The Plough’ public-house, Datchworth, was summoned for a contravention of the Movement of Swine Order, at Langley, on August 16.  The defendant pleaded guilty.

Sergeant Wood, of Welwyn, deposed that on Monday, August 16, the defendant came to Welwyn Police Station about 2.30 p.m. and asked for a licence to move three store pigs from ‘The Plume of Feathers’ public-house, Tewin, and three store pigs from Welsh’s Farm, Welwyn,  The witness told him he could not move the pigs from Tewin outside the area, but that he could move the pigs from Welsh’s farm without a licence.  The defendant went away.  From information the witness received he found that he had got the pigs in a cart at the time he was applying for the licence.  On Tuesday, August 17, the witness received a report that the defendant had moved the three pigs from Tewin, and the witness therefore went to ‘The Plume of Feathers’ and afterwards to Datchworth where he saw the defendant.  He asked the defendant where the pigs were which he had moved from Tewin, and he replied that he had taken them to Mr Smith’s, Langley.  The defendant said a dealer had told him that he could move them without a licence.

The Chairman: ‘You had told him that he could not?’  The witness: ‘Yes, Sir.’  The defendant admitted that he had the pigs in a cart at Welwyn when he came for the licence.  The witness added that he saw Mr. Smith, who told him the pigs were at his farm.

The defendant: ‘I never said I had the pigs in a cart at Welwyn.  I took them to Langley before I asked for a licence.  Mr Smith told me I ought to have a licence, and that was the reason I applied for one.’

Arthur Smith, farmer, Langley Bottom farm, Langley, deposed that on August 16 the defendant brought six store pigs to his farm.  He bought the pigs.  The witness asked him about the licence as he knew he ought to have one.

The defendant said he was very sorry.  He did it without a thought.  He did not know it was an infected area.

The Chairman: ‘The law says ignorance is no excuse.’

Supt Reed produced a copy of the order, also a copy of the bills posted in the defendant’s district.

In convicting the defendant the Chairman said it was a very serious offence, the breaking of these regulations, and the defendant was liable to a fine of £20.  The Bench, however, would be lenient with him on this occasion and fine him £4.

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