A MAN shot a pet pig three times before using a winch to drag it onto a trailer in front of its horrified owners.

Ivor the pig didn't die immediately after being shot by hunt stocksman Edward Shere in Sturminster Newton on October 6 2017.

However, Shere, now 29, winched the animal onto the trailer regardless.

The defendant, formerly of The Kennels in Bryanston, North Dorset, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and duty of person responsible for an animal to ensure welfare at Poole Magistrates' Court in December.

Prosecutors said Shere failed to euthanise Ivor in a humane manner. The defendant also did not ensure the pig's destruction was conducted in an 'appropriate and humane manner', it was heard.

Shere, who is now of Gingerland Farm in Cullompton, Devon, has now been disqualified for transporting animals for three years.

He was also ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and pay a £750 fine when he returned to the court for sentence on Monday.

RSPCA officials said Shere was working as a stocksman for the Portman Hunt when he was contacted on the hunt’s emergency line by Ivor's owner.

The owner asked Shere to humanely destroy the pet pig at a smallholding. Vets had advised the animal be euthanised.

However, the defendant used an 'incorrect weapon' and failed to properly and humanely euthanise the pig, which weighed 340 kilograms.

Shere then winched the much-loved family pet onto a trailer while it still alive in front of its owners, who had gathered to say their final goodbyes.

RSPCA chief inspector Mike Butcher, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “It’s essential all animals are treated in a way which safeguards their welfare at all times, throughout their entire life.

“Many animals have their lives ended due to being put down as a result of illness, age or infirmity.

"At this upsetting final stage of an animal’s life, owners place their full trust in those employed to humanely put animals to sleep to do so competently and without causing the type of suffering Ivor sadly experienced.”