Cornish farmer neglected animals so badly some of them were found dead and rotting in fields

A man has been banned from ever owning farm animals again after he neglected his livestock so badly that some of them died.

When inspectors went to visit Timothy Dean Harris' farm in Cornwall in May last year, after receiving a complaint, they found his cows neglected and severely underweight.

Sheep carcasses had also been left to rot in fields.

The St Brewer farmer repeatedly ignored warnings and advice given by animal welfare officers and can now never own farmed animals again.

The animals were being kept in fields around St Tudy.

The cattle were in poor condition, with two of them lame. Sheep had access to loose fencing and trailing barbed wire.

When inspectors visited again in June and July, they found multiple carcasses which had been left to rot.

One of the lambs which was found alive was suffering from a severe fly infection.

Harris admitted five animal welfare offences at Bodmin Magistrates' Court on 3 January and was handed a 20-week suspended prison sentence at the same court on 25 April.

He was also ordered to pay £5,000 in costs and £128 victim surcharge.

The court heard Harris took on sole ownership of the animals when his father, who used to help care for them, fell ill.

Magistrates were told Harris was also caring for his grandmother at the time.

The court heard Harris took responsibility for what has happened.

Magistrates said the case showed prolonged neglect with Harris ignoring warnings and advice. They said this resulted in high harm to the animals - including death.

Cornwall Council's trading standards manager Jane Tomlinson said: "This case was brought after inspectors had given Mr Harris advice and guidance on many occasions.

"Mr Harris clearly did not take on board this advice which lead to the welfare issues with his cattle and sheep and a disregard for the legislation concerning the disposal of carcasses."

The council’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change Councillor Martyn Alvey said: “Where officers find non-compliance or a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, the Council will not hesitate to take formal action.

"Allowing sheep access to hazards and failing to treat them for flystrike infection, failing to treat lame cattle and provide them with a suitable diet, and leaving carcasses to rot in fields is completely unacceptable.

"I welcome the court’s decision to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”

Cornwall Council says it will always try to work with farming businesses and offer support and guidance where needed.