Caught bangers to rights
A Cotswold farmer who allowed his pigs access to sausages has been banned for keeping pigs and cattle for five years.
At Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Monday (9th July) Clive Lockton, of New Road Farm, Todenham, was disqualified having previously pleaded guilty to seven offences relating to the appalling welfare conditions his pigs, cattle and hens were kept in.
He also admitted failing to report the movements to cattle onto his holding, failing to put ear tags on calves within the required time limits and breaches of Feed Hygiene legislation in relation to cleaning out pens, feed and water troughs.
On three separate visits from Animal Health Inspectors from Gloucestershire County Council Trading Standards Services, issues were found relating to the condition the animals were being kept in.
On 17th June 2017 a pig was seen struggling to walk in a pen of deep muck littered with debris from the broken wall. The pig had injuries that had been there for a long time, and no veterinary treatment had been arranged.
When Inspectors visited the farm on 8th November 2017 pigs and hens were found to be accessing waste food which was in the area near the animal feed storage bins. The waste contained meat products including sausages and chicken and bacon sandwiches.
As a result of this the farm was put under restriction and monitored for signs of foot and mouth disease. Fortunately no disease occurred and the restrictions were lifted after 21 days
Despite advice being given by inspectors during the visit to the farm the conditions had not improved when a further visit was carried out on 17th June 2018.
Acting for the prosecution, Bonnie Styles asked the court to disqualify Mr. Lockton from keeping pigs, cattle and sheep and goats as he was clearly unable to recognise and respond to the needs of his animals.
Acting for Mr. Lockton, Tim Burrows, of Steven Young Solicitors reminded the court that the suffering caused by his client was only relating to one pig. He stated that his client had a bad back and had been working on his own for small margins, having taken on too much work.
He asked that the court allow Mr. Lockton to continue to keep cattle, sheep and chickens as the problems found were snapshots seen on individual days.
The Chair of Magistrates accepted the recommendation made by the Probation Service and made a rehabilitation order for Mr. Lockton to carry out 15 days community service over the next 12 months. They also disqualified Mr. Lockton from keeping cattle and pigs for a period of five years, stipulating that this could not be appealed for a period of two years.
Mr. Lockton was ordered to pay £350 towards the prosecution costs, with a further £135 victim surcharge bringing the total to £485.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “There are rules and regulations in place to prevent the mistreatment of animals. When our advice is not heeded and animals are found to be neglected and suffering, we will not hesitate to prosecute.
“I am pleased that the courts put this ban in place and I hope this case serves as a warning to others.”