Gloucestershire farmer gave animals mouldy food and dirty water
A Gloucestershire farmer has admitted 30 offences relating to animal welfare and disease control. Alan Hall, from Churcham in the Forest of Dean, kept his livestock in inadequately fenced fields and gave them mouldy water and dirty water, a court heard.
The court heard that despite a history of engagement with trading standards, and receiving advice about how to ensure the welfare of his livestock, Hall continued to breach requirements.
Following complaints from members of the public about the welfare of his animals, trading standards officers visited his farm on numerous occasions. They discovered that he failed to follow any of the advice given and continued to keep animals in unclean conditions without sufficient access to clean bedding.
Officers also found that animals were forced to wade through deep mud to access mouldy food and dirty water. They were kept in inadequately fenced fields with numerous hazards to their health.
In one case, an extremely sick calf was found to have pneumonia but had not received veterinary treatment. Another cow had with painful eye problems which were not identified and treated promptly.
Vets from the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) confirmed that some of these animals suffered unnecessarily.
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 these measures are designed to restrict spread of animal disease.
Karen Smith, head of Gloucestershire trading standards, said: “In this case the defendant failed to care properly for his livestock over a long period of time and consistently ignored the advice given to him. He showed a lack of concern to ensure the identity of animals which were intended for the human food chain.
“Gloucestershire is a hotspot for bovine tuberculosis and it is vital that farmers comply with the requirements for pre-movement testing to prevent the spread of this disease, which is estimated to cost the taxpayer £70 million per year.
“We are doing our utmost to ensure that Gloucestershire consumers can be confident that locally produced food adheres to high welfare standards.”
Magistrates considered the matters so serious they requested a probation report before sentencing, to be held on November 14, 2022.