A farmer in the UK has been banned from keeping livestock for seven years, after failing to comply with animal welfare legislation.
Jennifer Pickles, 69, of High Royd Farm in Hebden Bridge appeared before Bradford Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 5th and pleaded guilty to a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The court heard that the West Yorkshire farmer put the safety of the food chain at risk and had not taken the action required to prevent the spread of animal diseases.
In addition to the livestock ban, Ms Pickles was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay over £36,000 (approximately €39,860) to Calderdale Council to cover costs relating to the case.
Lack of care
Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said: “We take animal welfare and disease control very seriously. Keeping farm animals is very different from having domestic pets.”
“It’s essential that owners of livestock understand their specific needs and the regulations.”
“The outcome of this case highlights the seriousness of the lack of care shown by Ms Pickles towards her animals.”
During investigations in December 2017 and January 2018, Calderdale Council’s Animal Welfare Officer and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) found that Ms Pickles had caused unnecessary suffering to her cattle.
The cows’ environment was unsuitable and they didn’t have food, water or parasite control.
The court heard they had access to the carcasses of other animals, and broken wood and sharp objects that could hurt them.
Further investigations revealed that Ms Pickles had kept cattle on her premises which hadn’t been identified.
During a herd test for TB in 2017, Ms Pickles advised the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that her cows had died and were no longer on the premises. The cattle were later found to be living on the farm.
Ms Pickles had received advice on animal health and welfare, along with notices to improve her treatment of the cows, but these were ignored.