#TheList Rebecca J Tucker, aged 46, of Bradworthy, Devon, and Luke J Morley, aged 37, who’s now moved back to his home town of Leicester – ran a small holding in Bradworthy where horses, cattle and pigs were kept in squalid conditions without food and water
Tucker and Morley, who previously lived together at Boards Court, Bideford, pleaded guilty to a range of charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007.
Trading Standards Officers, Animal and Plant Health Agency vets and RSPCA inspectors were called to the pair’s premises at various times during December 2017 and January 2018 and found animals being kept in poor conditions and a state of neglect.
On one occasion a vet found 14 cattle in a newly built shed with no dry lying or bedding or food. There was also a small area adjacent where pigs were housed, and they had no access to water.
On another day a vet arrived at the farm mid-morning to find the animals had not yet received any attention such as food and water that day.
When Trading Standards Officers visited they found 11 horses in a field with no suitable dry area for them to lie down in and they had no supplementary food.
There was also a collapsed five bar gate, collapsed fencing and collapsing netting in the field posing dangers of sharp metal edges and nails and an amount of plastic and burnt rubbish in the area.
Some of the horses were in such a bad state, that the pair were found to have caused them “unnecessary suffering” and so the RSPCA took possession of them.
During the hot sunny period in May vets were concerned about the lack of food, water and adequate shelter for the pigs – sunburn is a significant problem for pigs.
Trading Standards Officers returned to monitor the welfare of the animals and found further issues concerning diet, water and environment and reported their findings and subsequent advice to Tucker and Morley both verbally and in writing.
A further visit in June found eight pigs with a lack of dry bedding and a Belgian blue calf suffering from hair loss, scabs and a significant untreated lice infestation.
Despite repeated advice and intervention, Tucker and Morley made only temporary improvements, if any, in caring for their animals.
At the time of the offences it is understood that Tucker was the owner of the farming business and employed Morley to feed and care for the animals.
The Judge commented that Tucker “shirked responsibility” and put blame of the animals’ state on Morley, even though extensive advice had been provided to both by the inspectors.
Tucker – 17 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence to be served concurrently and suspended for 12 months. 180 hours of unpaid community work. Total costs of £390.
Morley – 12 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence to be served concurrently and suspended for 12 months. 120 hours of unpaid community work. Total costs of £240.
Both – banned from keeping animals for ten years (expires October 2028).