A BUSINESSMAN and a council have been told to put their heads together to decide the fate of seized pigs.

David Cottrell faces animal welfare charges, relating to conditions he kept pigs, poultry, sheep and horses on a site, at Medomsley, Consett.

Mr Cottrell, 52, who owns pork and black pudding supplier Medomsley Bangers, will appear before magistrates next month, on charges brought by Durham County Council.

He is, meanwhile, seeking to appeal against the council’s seizure of 44 pigs from the site, in November.

Granting him leave to appeal, following a hearing at Durham Crown Court, Judge Christopher Prince said a more pressing issue seems to relate to the pigs’ fate.

Some were said to be ready for slaughter or the market, and risk losing value while under council confiscation, awaiting the proceedings.

Judge Prince asked Mr Cottrell and council officials to engage in “significant discussions” to ensure the pigs realise maximum value.

He asked for an up-date from the defendant, of Sandringham Avenue, Whickham, and council representatives, next Thursday.