Shropshire farmer fined after cows found at sites unable to stand
Cattle at farm sites near Oswestry were discovered in such a poor state they were unable to stand, magistrates at a court heard.
Shropshire Council successfully prosecuted farmer Huw Lloyd Ellis of Pentrewern, near Gobowen, following an investigation by its animal health team where carcasses were also found on a visit to the holdings.
At Telford Magistrates Court, Mr Ellis was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85, as well as the full prosecution costs to the council.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal By-Products (England) (Enforcement) Regulations 2011 regarding cattle at three farm sites operated by him.
District judge Kevin Grego told the defendant had it not been for the mitigation from his defence and the improvement in running the holdings since, he may have imposed a custodial sentence.
He added the offences were very serious and consideration had also been given to disqualifying him from keeping cattle in future.
The court heard that in April last year officers from Shropshire Council and the Animal and Plant Health Agency visited Mr Ellis’ three farm sites and found a pile of cattle carcasses, as well as cows unable to stand.
Mr Ellis had failed to seek appropriate veterinary care for these animals, thereby causing them to suffer unnecessarily – an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Judge Grego also noted that despite the demonstration Mr Ellis was implementing better practices at the farm holdings, there was still need for improvement.
Mr Ellis was reminded that if he were to commit further offences in the future, he would likely face imprisonment and the loss of his livelihood.
Karen Collier, Shropshire Council’s regulatory services operations manager said: “This was a very difficult and distressing situation for animal health officers from the council’s regulatory services team to deal with.
"Our officers carry out regular checks to ensure animal welfare legislation is adhered to.
"Anyone found to be in breach of the legislation to protect animals will be investigated and appropriate action taken.”
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