Farmer fined after vet had to put down animals during inspection

A Co. Down farmer has been fined more than £5,000 after a vet had to euthanise a cow, a sheep and a lamb during a welfare inspection.

The incident came to light after a member of the public raised concerns about the animals.

Wilfred Anderson from Newtownhamilton pleaded guilty today to a total of six welfare-related charges at Newry Magistrates Court and was fined £5,250 (€5,920).

Anderson was convicted of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a cow, two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to sheep, as well as two charges of failing to comply with an animal by-product requirement.

He was also convicted of one charge of failing to take reasonable steps, in all the circumstances, to ensure the needs of animals for which he was responsible were met.

An investigation was launched after a complaint was made by a member of the public. It prompted Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) officers to carry out an animal welfare inspection on Anderson’s farm.

During the inspection, the veterinary officer present had to euthanise a cow, a ewe and one lamb to prevent them suffering any further.

‘High priority to welfare’

Anderson was convicted of one charge of failure to comply with an animal by-product requirement, in that he failed to dispose of animal carcasses correctly.

The farmers was also convicted of one charge of failure to comply with an animal by-product requirement, in that he failed to collect, identify and transport animal by-products without undue delay under conditions which prevented risks arising to public and animal health.

A DAERA spokesman said: “The department gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary.

“It would be regarded as good practice to remove – without delay – an animal carcass from a farm to prevent spread of disease and protect public health and avoid detrimental effects to the environment.”