Down farmer jailed for cattle movement offences

A Co. Down farmer who moved cattle illegally was sentenced to a prison term of four months at Newry Magistrates’ Court today (Wednesday, July 18).

Christopher David Potts – aged 23 of High Street, Gilford – pleaded guilty and was convicted of five charges relating to cattle movements without notifying the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

These included: one charge of failing to notify the department of the movement of six cattle onto his holding; two charges of failing to notify the department of the movement of 19 cattle off his holding; and two charges of failing to dispose of animal carcasses.

Potts was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment in respect of the cattle movement offences and two months’ imprisonment in respect of the animal by-products charges, to run concurrently.

He was also fined £1,000 plus a £15 offenders’ levy.

This case arose as a result of a number of discrepancies found at a cattle identification inspection of Potts’ herd, carried out by DAERA’s Welfare and Enforcement Branch.

According to DAERA, breaches of the cattle identification regulations weaken and undermine the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland, including the integrity of the department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).

The department also underlined the importance of removing without delay an animal carcass from a farm to prevent the spread of disease and protect public health and avoid detrimental effects on the environment.

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