Lincolnshire farmer sentenced for causing ‘extreme suffering to sheep’ at Middle Rasen

One of Mr Wilson's sheep
One of Mr Wilson's sheep

A farmer was sentenced earlier this week at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court for several offences including causing unnecessary suffering to sheep kept at Middle Rasen last July.

The case was brought following an investigation by Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

Philip Wilson, age 45, of Whitsend Farm, 95 Brigsley Road, Waltham, NE Lincolnshire was convicted, in his absence on 27 February 2017, of:

* One matter of caring for sheep when he was not familiar with the Code of Recommendation for the Welfare of Sheep

* One count of keeping sheep without ensuring that they were cared for by staff with the appropriate ability, knowledge and professional competence

* And one count under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of failing to provide 30 sheep relief from pain, suffering and disease

* There were two matters of causing unnecessary suffering to two of the sheep.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 24 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and prosecution costs of £4,318.31.

Mr Wilson was also banned from owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting sheep indefinitely.

The Chair of the bench, Stephen Beard stated that they were some of the worst photographs of animal cruelty that all three magistrates had ever seen.

Alan Griffin, Trading Standards Officer said, “We were made aware of the poor condition of Mr Wilson’s sheep after local residents had complained to the RSPCA. We investigated and found several sheep in a poor physical condition. We made several attempts to meet Mr Wilson, but he failed to attend pre-arranged meetings, and did not comply with vets’ advice that he needed to provide medical treatment for his sheep.

“Through failing to provide basic care, the sheep suffered terribly from fly strike which then resulted in maggots eating into the sheeps’ flesh. We found on a visit on 14 July that one ewe had died through lack of treatment. We take animal welfare very seriously and recommended a prosecution due to the extreme suffering caused to these sheep.

“We support the indefinite ban on Mr Wilson keeping sheep and note that Mr Wilson has 28 days to dispose of the 100 sheep he keeps on his farm in North East Lincolnshire, either by selling to another farmer, or arranging for a more suitable person to look after them .”