Court rejects sheep farmer’s animal welfare notice appeal

A farmer who appealed against an animal health and welfare notice issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has had his appeal rejected in court this week.

On Tuesday, May 6, at Castlebar District Court, Martin Ryan, of Clogher, Westport, Co. Mayo, appealed against an animal health and welfare notice under section 42 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

The notice had been served in April due to official concerns that the manner in which sheep were being kept did not safeguard their health and welfare and was likely to pose a threat to their welfare, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, was represented by Helen Johnson, BL, instructed by Vincent Deane, state solicitor; while Walsh was represented by solicitor Myles Gilvarry, according to the department.

After hearing evidence of authorised officers under the act encountered on different visits to the lands farmed by the appellant and hearing evidence from Walsh and on his behalf, Judge John Cheatle rejected the appeal and awarded costs to the minister.

Walsh, who farms sheep on a number of rented properties in the Castlebar/Westport area, was originally charged with a total of 35 counts of being in breach of the Animal Health and Welfare Act following the discovery of dead sheep on land in Co. Mayo in March 2018.

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