Farmer breached ban by keeping cattle
A farmer from the Forest of Dean has been sentenced for breaching an order disqualifying him from keeping cattle.
Keith Barber, aged 71, of Joys Green, Lydbrook, appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court to face eight charges, brought by Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards service, of breaching the disqualification order. He pleaded guilty to the charges at a hearing on 10 February and was sentenced on 6 March 2020.
He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay costs to trading standards of £2,300.
Barber was found to have fed cattle at land in Mitcheldean on a number of occasions between 1 November and 8 December 2019.
He was previously disqualified from keeping pigs and cattle after being convicted of eight animal welfare offences at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 28 January 2019 and was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
When the disqualification order was made, having seen the appalling conditions that pigs and cattle had been kept in, magistrates stated that Barber had a “cavalier attitude towards the welfare of his animals” and banned him from any involvement at all in the keeping of pigs and cattle for 10 years under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Animal health inspectors from trading standards launched an investigation after receiving information that Barber was still feeding and caring for cattle. Surveillance of the land where the cattle were kept was carried out and a breakthrough came when the grass in the field ran out and Barber was seen feeding hay to the cattle on a regular basis.
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: “Keith Barber was fully aware of the disqualification order and its implication and went to great lengths to carry on farming.
“Today’s prosecution sends out a clear message to anyone who is disqualified from keeping stock that we will not tolerate individuals who breach these orders and think that they can pull the wool over our eyes as to who is really keeping the stock.”