Failure to tag cattle leads to court conviction for one farmer

A farmer was convicted in court on one charge of failing to tag cattle, as well as a number of other animal movement related offences.

The other charges brought against the Co. Fermanagh farmer included one charge of failure to notify movements or the births of animals, one charge of failure to comply with a notice and one charge of failure to present a herd register.

Dermot Carroll, from Rosnarick Close in Derrygonnelly, Enniskillen, recently pleaded guilty to the charges at Enniskillen Magistrates’ Court; he was fined £800 (€954) as well as a £15 (€18) offender’s levy.

This case arose from discrepancies found during a cattle identification inspection carried out by officers from the Veterinary Service Enforcement Branch, according to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Breaches of the cattle identification regulations weaken and undermine the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland, DAERA added; this includes the integrity of the department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).

Due to the current interest in food safety by both the government and consumer groups, the department aims to be seen to be implementing all legislation relating to the traceability of livestock.

Cattle movements, notified to the department, are recorded on the APHIS database, DAERA said.

Properly maintained herd registers form an integral part of an animal’s traceability, supporting the accuracy and integrity of the department’s APHIS database, it added.

Accurately maintained herd records aim to corroborate and complement the APHIS details, while also helping to maintain public confidence in beef traceability and assist in animal disease control, according to DAERA.

Farmer fined for illegally connecting to public water mains

Meanwhile, a farmer in Northern Ireland was convicted and fined in late April for illegally connecting to a public water mains at a sitting of Newry Court.

William Morton, from 125 Ballyards Road in Co. Armagh, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006 on Friday, April 21.

The offences related to connecting to a public water main without consent and tampering with a water meter.

He was fined £800 (€942) on each offence with an offender’s levy fee of £15 (€18) and £37 (€43) in court costs. In addition, the court imposed a compensation order of £12,834.19 (€15,115), as well as legal costs of £900 (€1,060).

Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) workers attended a farm owned by Morton on May 27, 2016 and found an illegal connection used by the Co. Armagh farmer to supply unmeasured mains water to the property.

NI Water underlined that it is an offence to connect to the water or sewerage network without its consent.