This week has seen a County Down farmer convicted of a number of animal welfare charges.
Derek James Trimble, aged 50, pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined £1,400 plus a small offender levy.
The case came about after welfare inspections were carried out on Mr. Trimble’s farm in the month of March last year, with animal carcasses found, Most of which were sheep.
Mr. Trimble, of Spelga park, Hilltown Co. Down, was convicted on the day of two separate charges.
He was convicted of failure to act to ensure the needs of animals were in order, and failure to record details regarding the purchase and administration of veterinary products.
The improper use of animal medicines is known to be of high risk to humans and therefore an important subject. This is particularly important when it comes to animals been sent to slaughter and withdrawal times of said medicines before slaughter. This is because animals slaughtered before the recommended withdrawal period are still shown to have medicines in their systems, which can be passed directly to humans and produce side effects.
Another reason is that if animals slaughtered to enter the food market contain a drug to which human pathogens are capable of resisting, this in turn reduces the effectiveness of human diseases controlled by a drug. That means the drug might not be able to fight the disease as effectively if at all.
He was also convicted of another charge of failure to hold bodies/body parts of farmed animals which have not been sent to slaughter for human consumption, pending disposal to ensure no other animals or birds would have access to them.
The removal of deceased animals, as we all know, is a preventative measure to stop the spreading of disease, avoid detrimental effects to the environment and also to protect public health.
Mr. Derek James Trimble was convicted of all charges laid against him and ordered to pay the fine of £1,400 as mentioned earlier.