An elderly Mayo farmer has received a fine of €300 for neglecting the welfare of his cattle, as reported by the Mayo news.
The farmer, John Hoster aged 77, hails from Cloonmore, Ballyfarna, Claremorris and appeared at Castlebar District Court last week facing the charges of animal neglect. The courts heard that the farm of Mr. Hoster was inspected by a veterinary inspector in 2016, with a cow found lying on the ground with a rope tied around her neck.
The inspector gave the farmer a chance to get his affairs in order or else face being stopped from keeping livestock. Inspector Peter Byrne said the farm was inspected again on April 30th of this year, with 39 cattle found. Only 31 of which were found to be registered, with eight calves unregistered.
Inspector Byrne also informed the courts that the stock were in an acceptable condition and “better than what they were”, but he did express his concern that the herd may grow in size.
Mr. Hoster, the courts were informed, is a suckler farmer who rears cattle to sell on and has recently sold as much as 15 at the mart. Presiding Judge Devins asked inspector Byrne what the course of action should be, and he suggested a cap be placed on the number of cattle the farmer can keep. He recommended a cap of ten cows.
The solicitor for the defendant, Mr Michael Keane, said Mr. Hoster was currently being helped out on the farm by a neighbour, Rory McQuinn, and that there were currently 36 cattle in his possession.
Mr Rory McQuinn told the courts that he works on the farm every day and noted that the situation has greatly improved recently. He noted that his neighbour had struggled recently due to his increasing age and poor health, but since he got help his health has improved. Mr. McQuinn told the courts he will continue to work with the farmer on the farm.
Judge Devins agreed not to put a Cap on the number of cattle the farmer could keep, though she imposed the fine of €300 on him, warning of future offences.
, said he works on the farm every day and since he arrived the situation on the farm has improved. He said Mr Hoster struggled because of his age but since he got help, his health has improved. He said he will continue to work on the farm and help Mr Hoster.
Judge Devins agreed not to put a cap on Mr Hoster’s herd but would convict him on one of the charges and fined him €300.