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Livestock driver found guilty of causing pain and suffering to a collapsed cow


Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards team has successfully prosecuted a man of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a dairy cow.


On Tuesday 10 December 2019, at Cheltenham Magistrates Court, Nigel Stubbins, aged 48 of Alfreton, Derbyshire was found guilty of two counts of unlawful handling of a dairy cow in addition to an earlier guilty plea for inappropriately transporting a horned bull in the same compartment as other cattle.

On Tuesday 13 November 2018, Mr Nigel Stubbins arrived at a local abattoir at 9pm, outside of normal operational hours, and he proceeded to unload the cattle. CCTV footage showed that when he opened the lorry’s top rear compartment one of the cows was down and slid down the ramp.

Mr Stubbins then spent 45 minutes trying to get the cow to stand and walk into a pen when it was obvious from the footage the cow couldn’t get up and remain on her feet. Mr Stubbins tried various methods to get the cow to stand up including pulling her by the nose, using ropes to drag her round, and excessive use of an electric goad over a half hour period.

There are strict rules in place for the use of electric goads; they should not be used repeatedly when animals fail to respond and when the cattle are unable to get up. It is also specifically prohibited to lift or drag animals by the head, ears, horns, legs, tail or fleece, or handle them in such a way as to cause them unnecessary pain or suffering.

Mr Stubbins was fined £1,055 and ordered to pay £2,000 towards prosecution costs and a £155 victim surcharge.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member responsible for trading standards at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It is so essential to make sure that all animals are well looked after and transported in accordance with the rules. In this case Mr Stubbins has failed in his duty of care to the livestock under his control, leaving us with no option other than to prosecute. Our trading standards team work hard to ensure the strict welfare standards for animals are followed at all times.”

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