Failure to dispose of dead stock lands farmer in court
27 Nov 2018 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
A farmer who failed to dispose of dead stock and complete animal movement records correctly has appeared before Newcastle Magistrates.
Ian Findlay, 57, of East Kielder Farm was fined £666 and ordered to pay £2000 costs and a £41 victim surcharge. He was also given a 12 month conditional discharge
Findlay pleaded guilty to 11 offences of failing to dispose of dead stock correctly and 1 offence of allowing animals and birds access to the dead stock, contrary to the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013 .
He also pleaded guilty to two offences of providing false dates of births when registering two calves with the British Cattle Movement Service, contrary to the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007. Registration at birth allows a bovine animal to be issued with a valid passport which allows it to be moved off a farm holding and tracked and monitored until death.The dates of birth provided by Mr Findlay for the calves were clearly incorrect and as a result the passports should not have been provided and were seized.
The prosecution was brought by Northumberland County Council Housing and Public Protection Service, who initially visited the farm in March 2017 following an anonymous complaint by a member of the public.
Animal Health Inspectors from the service found the carcasses and skeletal remains of at least 45 sheep in different locations in the fields and farm steading.
In January 2018 a further complaint was received by Trading Standards about dead stock on the farm. Animal Health inspectors re-visited the farm where they again found carcasses and skeletal remains of sheep.
Northumberland County Council’s Head of Housing & Public Protection, Philip Soderquest said:
“Mr Findlay’s failure to store and dispose of these carcasses, presented a potential disease risk to livestock grazing among them and to wildlife which had been scavenging off the uncollected carcasses”.
“Fallen stock should be safely and suitably handled, with measures taken, without undue delay, to stop other animals and wild birds having access to it.
“Uncontrolled animal by-products can present a risk to both human and animal health and the legislation is there to safeguard the food chain and to prevent the spread of animal diseases, protecting both human health and the rural economy of Northumberland.”
Additionally it is imperative that farmers keep full and accurate livestock records to ensure the safety and integrity of the food chain.
“Farming is a crucial industry in Northumberland and it’s vital every single farmer complies with regulations. As a county council we will do all we can to support our farmers but we will also take enforcement action where necessary.”