News item

Farmer sentenced after animal welfare abuses

A Leek farmer has today been disqualified from keeping livestock for 10 years.  Douglas Bailey (71) from Dial Lane, Staffordshire pleaded guilty to 16 offences at Stafford Magistrates Court earlier today. 

Mr Khal Mahmood, prosecuting on behalf of Staffordshire County Council told magistrates that animal health officers from Trading Standards had visited the farm at Dial Lane on a number of occasions during August 2013 following a complaint over animal welfare at the site.  

Officers who attended found cattle, sheep and pigs at the premises where welfare was compromised, with cattle and sheep that Mr Bailey had failed to seek veterinary advice and treatment and other animals including pigs without drinking water or dry bedding.  

The inspectors, accompanied by government vets found carcases of 4 sheep and two cattle at the premises and cattle that had not been correctly identified.  Subsequent enquiries additionally found that veterinary medicines records for drugs administered to animals were incomplete as were herd registers for livestock movements.  

The courts, taking into consideration offences of a similar nature previously committed by Mr Bailey, handed down a 4 month custodial sentence suspended for 2 years for a total of 9 offences to run concurrently and no separate penalty for the remainder.  Bailey was additionally given a 6 month supervision order and ordered to pay £3439.20 in costs and £80 victim surcharge.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member responsible for trading standards and rural affairs, said: “The priority of our trading standards team is to support businesses and help them to thrive.

However, it will act against those who break the law and in the most serious cases and as a last resort, prosecute. Animal health prosecutions follow unacceptable suffering to animals and potential risk to people’s health and safety. This case sends out a strong message that any failure to comply with animal health and welfare or public health laws are extremely serious. In this case there were also breaches of the cattle identification rules which have come under close scrutiny following the BSE scandal”.

DATE: 12 August 2014