Farmer prosecuted for ‘significant neglect’

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A Lincolnshire farmer, who left cattle, sheep and a pig without food and in poor conditions, has been found guilty of significant animal neglect.

James Hunt (23) from Louth, pleaded guilty to 11 offences relating to the welfare and registration of his cattle, sheep and a pig, at Boston Magistrates Court earlier this week.

Following three years of advice and help an animal welfare investigation had to be instigated by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, the prosecution offences included: leaving cattle, sheep and a pig without food, dirty pens and no fresh bedding, no grazing areas provided, keeping a pig permanently in a trailer, failing to identify livestock and breaching movement legislation for the sheep.

Ian Newell, service manager at Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “At the time of this investigation, Mr Hunt was providing no shelter to his animals from the wind, rain, hail and snow.

“The cattle were very weak and malnourished, and a pig was also found locked in a trailer. We asked him to improve the situation and to move the animals and feed them, but it was evident on a return visit that nothing had been done.”

He added: “Throughout the investigation and over preceding years, we tried to work with Mr Hunt, to support him and to try help him improve his and his livestock’s situation, but in the end, the only option was to prosecute him and recommend he be disqualified from keeping livestock again.”

The Chairman of the Bench at Boston Magistrates Court, presiding over the case said: “There has been quite a significant level of neglect and the defendant perhaps mis-interpreted the limits of his experience in committing offences over a length of time.”

Paul Gethings, AHVLA Vetinary Officer and expert witness in the trial, noted that this case did not deteriorate to the worst level of animal welfare offence, due to the timely intervention of Trading Standards, which prevented further suffering.

Sentencing is due on October 21.