Forest of Dean farmer who kept animals in filthy conditions given ban

A farmer from the Forest of Dean has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from having animals after keeping livestock in filthy conditions and giving them mouldy food and dirty water. Allen Hall, aged 53, of Bulley Lane in Churcham, appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced for 30 offences relating to animal welfare and disease control.

He had previously faced the charges brought by Gloucestershire County Council’s trading standards service at a hearing on September 7, when he pleaded guilty to the offences. Magistrates sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for 24 months.

Along with this, Hall was given a £4,000, ordered to pay full prosecution costs, which were in excess of £8,000. He was also given a 10-year ban from keeping pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, alpaca and poultry.

Trading standards officers visited Mr Hall's farm on various occasions after receiving complaints from various members of the public about the welfare of his animals. They discovered he had failed to follow any given advice, and had continued to keep animals in unclean conditions without sufficient access to clean bedding.

The animals were forced to wade through deep mud to access mouldy food and dirty water and were kept in inadequately fenced fields with numerous hazards to their health. An extremely sick calf was found to have been suffering with pneumonia, but was yet to receive any veterinary treatment. Another cow had with painful eye problems which had failed to be identified and treated promptly.

The Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) veterinary team confirmed "unnecessary suffering" on the part of the animals. Other offences included failure to test cattle for bovine tuberculosis before moving them off his land, failure to report animal deaths in a timely manner, failure to report the movement of sheep onto his land and failure to properly record the use of veterinary medicines, all of which are designed to restrict spread of animal disease.