A Co. Armagh company, Killyfaddy Farms Ltd., of Killyfaddy Road, has been convicted at Armagh Magistrates Court sitting in Newry Court, of transporting an animal that was not fit for the journey.

Killyfaddy Farms Ltd. was convicted and fined £300 plus a £15 offender levy for one charge of transporting an animal which was not fit for the journey.

This is contrary to Regulation 5(1)(a) of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 and Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005.

Court case

The case arose when a Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) official veterinarian at an abattoir examined an animal presented for slaughter.

The cow had a large, swollen, left fetlock joint with swelling extending down the hoof. The cow was hesitant to move and when it did it was unsteady on its feet.

The vet stated that, in her opinion, the animal was suffering from a longstanding condition which, given the inability to balance properly or place its foot directly on the ground, meant that this animal was caused unnecessary suffering by transportation.

DAERA said it 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 said.

Northern Ireland animal welfare legislation also requires that animals must be fit to travel and must be cared for if they fall ill or are injured during transport.

The animals must be accompanied by competent persons and must be transported to their destinations without undue delay.

All those who have animals in their care either on farm, in transit or at slaughter have a duty of care to look after the animals’ welfare.