A pig in a fattening pen in Canterbury, England. Photo: Farmwatch
"It is incomprehensible in the view of the court that (the accused) knew for some time (the condition of the animals) without doing anything to prevent an animal tragedy," announced Tønsberg court in southern Norway, handing down a tougher ruling than the seven months demanded by the prosecutor.
"As regards the number of animals and the level of suffering, this is an animal tragedy which thankfully rarely happens in Norway," the court added in the ruling cited by NRK.
In February 2013, food safety authorities investigated a reported case of neglect on the man's farm and discovered that more than 400 pigs had died. A further 60 were in a poor state and had to be put down.
During the trial the farmer explained that he had experienced problems managing the farm and was under pressure due to an illness in his family. Although aware of the animals' condition he said he was terrified of going into the pigpen and seeing what had happened to them.
His lawyer had sought an acquittal or at least a very mild sentence.