A farmer from Co. Limerick appeared before Kilmallock Court today, Monday December 10th, and pleaded guilty to four offences of breaching the Animal Health and Welfare Act, as reported by the Limerick Leader.
The farmer, John Hanly from Friarstown, Grange, appeared in court after a Veterinary Inspector, Andrew O’ Connor, discovered the remains of a number of dead animals on the lands rented by the farmer at Bruffea near Grange. The discoveries were made by the inspector in April 2017 and Mr. O’Connor presented a book of photographic evidence to Judge Marian O’Leary in court.
The courts were then told that a total of three calve carcasses and bones were found on the land, presenting a “potential disease risk” according to Mr. O’Connor. The inspector told the courts that some of the bones in question, were located in a paddock near some sheds. He estimated that the remains had been there “at least a week”.
Solicitor for Mr. Hanley, Brendan Gill, told the courts that the farmer gets Jersey cross bull calves, which are often in a bad shape and have a higher mortality rate. He also asked vet inspector O’Connor if the farmer had co-operated with him, to which Mr O’Connor replied “yes”.
Mr. Gill then told the courts that the farmer’s health was not the best at the time of the discoveries, while also noting the farmer has taken steps to ensure this never happens again.
“The calves generally arrive in poor condition and Mr Hanly brings them back to health. His own circumstances were not good - he had a heart condition at the time.” Mr. Gill told the courts.
“He is a 63-year-old part-time farmer and also works in the local mart. He has an excellent work history. He has taken steps to ensure it won’t happen again,” he continued.
The solicitor also noted that his client, Mr. Hanly, has no previous convictions and has been running this enterprise for over seven years.
“Matters got out of control. He assures me it won’t happen again and that he has proper assistance,” he said in court.
Judge O’Leary handed down a fine of €1,650 to the farmer on the four offences under the Mr Hanly a total of €1,650 on the four offences contrary to Section 36 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act, while he was also ordered to pay €1,200 to the Department of Agriculture to cover costs.