Lincolnshire farmer given livestock ban for animal neglect

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A Lincolnshire farmer, who had been found guilty of significant animal neglect in September, has now been sentenced.

James Hunt, 23, has been given a 12 month community order, with a 240 hours unpaid work requirement, and has been disqualified from keeping all livestock for a period of 18 months.

He has also been ordered to pay £1,000 towards legal costs, together with a £60 victim surcharge.

Mr Hunt, of Louth, had pleaded guilty to significant animal neglect, including four offences relating to sheep kept at Bleasby Moor, at the September hearing in Boston Magistrates Court.

The chairman of the bench said: “There has been quite a significant level of neglect and the defendant perhaps misinterpreted the limits of his experience in committing offences over a length of time.

In total, there were 11 offences relating to the welfare and registration of Mr Hunt’s cattle, sheep and a pig.

At Bleasby Moor the animals had been given an inadequate diet, had not been inspected and were not recorded properly.

The offences came to light after an investigation by 
Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

“We are delighted with the result and hope that this sends out a strong message to others,” said Ian Newell, Service Manager at Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

“At the time of this investigation, Mr Hunt was providing no shelter to his animals from the wind, rain, hail and snow.

“The cattle were very weak and malnourished, and a pig was also found locked in a trailer.

“Throughout the investigation and over preceding years, we tried to work with Mr Hunt to try to improve the situation, but it was evident that nothing happened- our only option was to prosecute.”

Principal trading standards officer Alan Walsh, added: “We are here to help and provide advice to farmers and anyone in the livestock industry, on how to comply with legislation to protect the welfare of animals, and also the human food chain.

“Unfortunately, on this occasion, we had no alternative but prosecution when our advice was not heeded, and subsequently offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 were committed.

“In this case, we managed to remove the animals from Mr Hunt prior to the animals being caused extreme suffering or death, and were then able to give the animals the care and veterinary attention that they needed to make a recovery.”