Category Archives: Farm animals

Kettering, Northamptonshire: Reece Reed

#TheList Reece Reed (aka Reece Howard-Reed), born c. 2000, most recently of Club Street, Kettering NN16 8RP – mutilated a prize-winning miniature horse by stabbing him 20 times; ripped the wings off three chickens

Farmyard prowler and animal abuser Reece Reed previously of Kettering, Northamptonshire
Farmyard prowler and animal abuser Reece Reed was caught naked from the waist down in a chicken coop

Reed, who has previous convictions for burglary and vehicle theft, attacked the animals in April 2018 after breaking into a Wellingborough farm. The farm owner was alerted by a burglar alarm at 07:30 a.m.

Farmyard prowler and animal abuser Reece Reed previously of Kettering, Northamptonshire

Prosecutor Priya Bakshi told the court: “He ran to the summer house to investigate. There he found a shovel, and saw one window had been pried open and another had been smashed.

“He peered through the window. There, he saw a man with a six-inch kitchen knife inside the chicken coop.”

The farmer scared off the armed man – Reed, who was naked from the waist down – before searching his stables to see if any animals had been hurt.

Victim Sol suffered appalling knife injuries during a sadistic attack by Reece Reed
Victim Sol suffered appalling knife injuries during a sadistic attack by Reece Reed

It was then that he found his daughter’s prize-winning miniature show horse Sol. His back legs and rear had been stabbed 20 times and he was bleeding heavily.

Additionally, Reed had cut the wings off of three chickens. They had to be put down.

In court, the judge heard how Sol was a prize winner worth over £3,000 and was on track to becoming a champion show horse.
But following the attack, Sol was rendered unfit to compete ever again.

Victim Sol suffered appalling knife injuries during a sadistic attack by Reece Reed

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Sol’s owner said: After I learned that Sol had been hurt I was devastated and heartbroken.

“Sol was and is my best friend and he will always be part of the family.”

Reed later pleaded guilty to the offence.

His defence barrister, Osmun Munir, said the 19-year-old was “remorseful and expresses sympathy for the family”.

But in sentencing, Judge Fowler was unable to jail Reed for more than two months over the mutilations – because the attacks were charged as “criminal damage” rather than, for example, animal cruelty.

He told Reed: “This episode can only be described as wholly despicable. The charges that you face today do not reflect the wickedness of your behaviour.

“This has been treated as if it were criminal damage against two inanimate objects. It isn’t. And it is in my view and error that ought to be corrected.”

Reed was already serving a sentence of three years and seven months at Peterborough HMP imposed in March 2019 for previous crimes.

Sentencing: two months in jail for mutilating the animals and six months for carrying the knife.

Northamptonshire Chronicle

Burton, Rossett, Wrexham: Wilfred and Ian Francis

#TheList Wilfred Francis, born c. 1981, and his brother Ian Martin Francis, born c. 1983, both of Yr Ackery Farm, Dark Lane, Burton, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0AE – for the mistreatment of cattle on their farm

Cruel and negligent farmers Wilfred Francis and Ian Martin Francis of Wrexham, Wales
Wilfred Francis (left) and his brother Ian Francis were not banned from keeping animals despite their shocking neglect of cattle on their farm

Wilfred and Ian Francis pleaded guilty to a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

On February 5, 2019, an unannounced visit by Wrexham Council was made to the farm after receiving a complaint of a dog eating a dead calf.

On arrival at the farm officers of the Food and Farming team accompanied by an Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) Vet found dead cattle and calves, animals with none or insufficient bedding. Some were without food and water and had access to hazardous object around the premises.

Ian Dillon, acting on behalf of the council, told the court: “Two dead cattle were being picked at by chickens. One had been unlawfully killed by Wilfred Francis by injecting it with anaesthetic.

“One cow had to be put to sleep after because it was left without medication after breaking its hip calfing two weeks previously.”

Mr Dillon said: “There were other cows with no access to water or food, some kept near to scrap metal which could have caused them harm and a general failure to clean and disinfect to keep away flies and disease.

“Waste food products had been left on the farm. Mince pies, cup cakes and ice cream was fed to the cattle. Some animals were left lying in slurry.”

Photographs taken by animal welfare officers showed animals living in squalid conditions. The officers made subsequent visits to the farm.

Mr Dillon said: “One calf was drowning in slurry. Another had been born the previous evening and had little bedding that was filled with slurry. The cow that had given birth was exhausted and had been given no food or water.

“Another newborn calf seen on March 5 was only just able to keep its nose above the slurry.”

Conditions did improve said Mr Dillon but eventually, the council applied to seize animals in May 2019 to stop unnecessary suffering. The herd reduced from 140 down to 40 head of cattle.

Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. Ordered to pay £3,000 costs each to Wrexham County Council – at a minimum rate of £50 per month. There was no order against the brothers keeping animals in the future.

Daily Post
Wrexham.com

Gillingham, Dorset: Dennis Thorne

#TheList Dennis Thorne, born c. 1976, of Kington Magna, Gillingham, Dorset SP9 – failed to care for goats, ferrets and poultry on his smallholding

Conditions on Dennis Thorne's smallholding

Thorne, who is a Romany gypsy, pleaded guilty to six offences under animal health and welfare legislation following an investigation by Dorset Council Trading Standards. This included four offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of causing unnecessary suffering to a flock of 30-40 poultry, two goats and two ferrets, by failing to provide them with appropriate care and one offence of failing to inspect his animals at regular intervals.

He also pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to tag his two goats, which is legally required to prevent animal disease spread.

Conditions on Dennis Thorne's smallholding

In March 2019, trading standards officers visited land Thorne rented at Okeford Fitzpaine, near Sturminster Newton. They discovered the carcasses of around 20 ducks, chicken and geese littering the animal enclosure. The few surviving poultry were emaciated and in filthy conditions.

Two emaciated goats were also found in a small pen with no clean water or dry lying area.

Conditions on Dennis Thorne's smallholding

In a nearby barn were cages containing the carcasses of two ferrets. The cages were filthy and all of the drinking containers were empty. Despite having received previous advice from the team, the goats were not tagged.

All the animals remaining in Thorne’s possession were seized by Trading Standards under the Animal Health Act and then cared for by the RSPCA. Thorne later agreed to give up his ownership of them.

The court was advised that Thorne had received a formal caution from the RSPCA in 2009 for causing unnecessary suffering to a horse.

Sentencing: 14 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. Community Order of 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation. Ordered to pay £715. Banned from keeping all animals for 10 years.

Gillingham News
Keep106

Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne: David Cottrell

#TheList David Cottrell, born 09/10/1966 of 18 Sandringham Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne NE16 5ZA – caused prolonged suffering to pigs he kept in shocking conditions

Cottrell, former owner of pork and black pudding producer Medomsley Bangers, is banned from keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.
Cottrell is now banned from keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.

Cottrell, former owner of pork and black pudding supplier Medomsley Bangers was convicted of 31 animal welfare charges relating to animals on his site at Manor Road, Medomsley, County Durham, from March to October 2018.

They included charges of being a person responsible for farmed animals and failing to take steps to ensure they had the right conditions, and failing to comply with duty regulations 4, 5 and 7 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Catherine Hazell, prosecuting for the council, said animal health inspectors and a police officer had first visited the site at Manor Road on March 23, 2018.

They found a pen of 11 pigs living in deep slurry with no dry lying area and no water, alongside two pig carcasses.

Another pen containing one pig had no water. Piglets were crammed into a small pen with hardly any space and filthy drinking water.

Officers searched the fields and found horses with access to a large pile of debris and wood with nails and sharp pieces which could likely cause them injury, as well as sheep carcasses.

Cottrell was issued a notice to dispose of the animal by-products, but when officers returned weeks later there was still no dry lying area for 23 pigs, while sharp objects were still in the field with the horses.

During a further visit in October 2018 five underweight pigs were found with no feed available. Six adolescent pigs were crammed in a small pen and standing knee-deep in slurry with filthy water.

The council seized 44 pigs as well as piglets in November 2018. Some of the pigs have since had piglets. There were eventually about 150 pigs in total.

Cottrell only provided his consent to the council selling the pigs in June.

The upkeep of the pigs amounted to £27,765 offset by the sale of some

A probation report noted that Cottrell had decided to set up his own business sheep and pig farming more than three years after suffering serious injuries in a horse accident.

Cottrell told a probation officer that at the time of the incidents he was caring for his terminally ill mother and elderly father and it had got “too much for him”.

He added, a contractor providing him feed had also let him down.

Cottrell, who is selling the land, is now working as a private contractor providing security and as a takeaway driver.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 300 hours of unpaid work with 15 probation activity days. He was ordered to pay £24,919, including costs of looking after the pigs and legal costs. Disqualified from owning or keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.

Northern Echo

Plungar, Nottingham: Paul robinson

#TheList Paul G Robinson, born c. 1969, of Hill Farm, Harby Lane, Plungar, Nottingham NG13 0JH – for severe neglect of pigs, cattle and sheep

Robinson was visited by Trading Standards officers after a member of the public contacted them about the conditions his animals were being kept in.

When they arrived at Hill Farm, they found pigs were living in darkness and one ewe was not getting enough food to produce milk for her undernourished lamb.

Officers from the RSPCA attended the same day and they immediately took all 27 cattle and 46 pigs from the 20-acre farm for welfare reasons.

The sheep, goats, chickens and other animals were left on the farm.

Robinson pleaded guilty to 16 charges relating to the cattle, pigs and sheep.

But magistrates agreed to a ban that only included pigs and cattle.

While some of the offences he admitted were for causing suffering to his livestock, others related to failures to properly tag animals, notify the government about animal purchases and deaths and following codes of practice.

Adam Clemens, prosecuting on behalf of Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards, said: “The cattle and pigs had insufficient feed and the sheep had for the most part no feed.

“A third of the pens had no water and cattle were thin.”

He said pig carcasses were seen lying among the pigs while sheep carcasses had been burned.

Six further visits were made to the farm by the Trading Standards officers.

When Robinson was interviewed by Trading Standards the answers he gave were “cause for concern”, Mr Clemens said.

He said Robinson had never read any codes of practice farmers should follow, and did not think animals needed access to food and water at all times.

When asked about the burned lamb carcasses, Robinson said he believed his dogs had dragged the dead animals onto a bonfire, although he later pleaded guilty to burning four lamb carcasses.

Robinson told the interviewers he cleaned the animal sheds out every three to six months and saw no problem with the way the animals were being kept.

Mr Clemens said there had been many other concerns about the farm in recent years.

There was not a single year between 2012 and 2017 Trading Standards did not visit the farm and Mr Clemens said had no information about years prior to 2012 because the records were not available.

Kim Lee, representing Robinson, said his client had always been “less than a junior partner” to his father who “would rule the farm with a rod of iron”.

He said his client had been “overwhelmed” since his father’s death a year ago and was also struggling to look after his mother, who suffers from dementia.

Meanwhile, the farm was making a loss of about £3,000 per year, he said.

Mr Lee said: “This is a man who recognises the error of his ways and has taken steps to address the errors of the past.

“His financial situation is precarious. It’s no life. There’s no profit.”

Mr Lee asked the magistrates not to ban Robinson from keeping all animals so that he could continue as a farmer.

He said: “It’s all he’s known – man and boy.”

He said his client would not mind being banned from keeping pigs and cattle and would reduce the number of sheep on his farm from 81 to no more than 50.

Sentencing: six-month jail sentence suspended for two years; ordered to pay total of £2,115 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping pigs and cattle.

Leicester Mercury

Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire: Daniel Bowd

#TheList Daniel Mark Bowd, born 12/10/1991, of Old Stores Cottage, School Lane, Lower Leigh, Stoke On Trent ST10 4SS – kept starving dogs, cows and pigs in atrocious conditions on a smallholding

Animal abuser Daniel Mark Bowd of Lower Leigh, Stoke on Trent

Daniel Bowd. former managing director of recently failed waste management company DM Bowd Environmental Services Ltd, kept dogs, pigs and cattle on a smallholding on Raddle Lane, Leigh, near Uttoxeter, but abandoned the animals to starve.

Staffordshire County Council raided the smallholding in January 2019 following a tip-off.

Inspectors found:

  • Five dogs in pens covered in faeces and urine
  • Pigs and cattle with no food or water
  • Pig skulls and smaller animal skulls in a field
  • A blood-covered pig which had been eating a dead pig

Prosecutor Khalid Mahmood told North Staffordshire Justice Centre: “A small pig had a blood-covered face as it had been eating the dead pig that was inside the pen. The officers then went looking in the pen and found skulls of dead pigs.

“The officers also saw cattle with no food or water and there was no dry lying area for them. Similarly, there was no dry lying area for any other animals.”

RSPCA officers inspected the dogs. They had wood in their rectum, their abdomens and guts felt empty, and they had scratches and damaged ears as if they had been fighting.

Bowd told the probation service that he was £60,000 in debt. He was working 14 hours every day just to ‘keep his head above water’ on a self-employed basis.

Lucy Taylor-Grimes, mitigating, said: “He just couldn’t keep up with the volume of food that the animals needed.”

Bowd admitted a catalogue of animal welfare offences against pigs and dogs. He also admitted failing to dispose of animal bones correctly, failing to maintain a register of the cattle on his holding, and not maintaining a proper veterinary medicine record for his livestock.

Sentencing: 18-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months; ordered to pay £1,615 in court costs. Lifetime ban on keeping pigs, cattle and dogs with the possibility of review after five years.

StokeonTrentLive

Uttoxeter, Staffordshire: Stephen Croxall

#TheList farmer Stephen J Croxall, born 03/12/1968, of 2 Whitehall Close, Kingstone, Uttoxeter ST14 8RN – left livestock to die in a frozen field

Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm
Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm

In a case brought by Staffordshire County Council, Stephen Croxall pleaded guilty to 14 charges of breaching the Animal Welfare Act.

The offences happened in Croxall’s field, in Blithbury Road, Hamstall Ridware, Rugeley.

Charges ranged from causing unnecessary suffering to sheep, lambs and cattle to failing to record the administration of medicines.

When animal health officers visited the farm on January 31, 2018, they found the animals starving and freezing to death.

Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm

One lamb was hypothermic and another dead under a fallen gate. A young calf was also found very vocal and thin, indicating it had not been fed or watered. Several other animals had to be put down.

Croxall told the court he was tired from his full-time job as a wood cutter and that vets were too expensive.

Lucy Daniels, prosecuting for the council, said: “It was -3C at 11am. The land was described as white and frozen.

“Officers saw 20 bales of silage, which were black and mouldy.

“When the officers entered the field, the animals were hungry as they were running towards the officers for food.

“There were buckets of water but these were frozen. The grass was frozen and there was no hay or straw.

“A wall of metal in the shed had been broken and sharp edges were sticking into the shed.

“There was also an emaciated calf, which must have been there for days. Officers could see its spine.”

The animal had to be put down, but the vet was unable to find a vein in which to inject the calf because of its dehydrated state, the court heard.

Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm

A pre-sentence report on Croxall said: “There was no intention or malice behind the offences.

“He has worked on farms for 35 years and he has entrenched methods of looking after animals and it appears this is outdated with regards to Defra’s code of practice.

“His aunt, who died some years ago, was the record keeper.”

The report also said there was a financial strain on the farming industry and Croxall was spending fewer hours on the farm due to his other work.

It said: “He simply was not there to look after the animals.”

The court heard Croxall’s wife died in 2010 and he subsequently had psychiatric treatment.

Lucy Taylor-Grimes, defending, added: “He is a man who is not good with reading and writing and has found this whole situation difficult to follow.”

Sentencing Croxall, magistrates told him: “There was neglect for at least a week and a number of animals had to be put down.

“We would jail you. However, due to your early guilty plea, your personal circumstances, your education difficulties and the loss of your wife, we will suspend your sentence.”

Sentencing: 16-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months; ordered to pay £1,000 in costs. Lifetime ban on keeping animals with review after five years.

DerbyshireLive 28/09/2019
DerbyshireLive 11/09/2019

Torpoint, Cornwall: Justine Peroni

#TheList Justine Arabella Peroni, born 10/09/1967, of The Coombe, Deviock Hill, Downderry, Torpoint, Cornwall PL11 3NA – cruelty to cattle on her smallholding

Irresponsible Justine Peroni of Torpoint, Cornwall is banned from keeping animals for five years for her cruel and negligent treatment of cattle on her smallholding.
Irresponsible Justine Peroni is banned from keeping animals for five years for her cruel and negligent treatment of cattle on her smallholding.

Justine Peroni admitted five charges of animal cruelty. These included a charge of “unnatural breeding” for allowing a bull to breed with his mother.

Irresponsible Justine Peroni of Torpoint, Cornwall is banned from keeping animals for five years for her cruel and negligent treatment of cattle on her smallholding.

During a visit to Peroni’s smallholding Cornwall Council’s Animal Health team and vets from DEFRA found emaciated cattle, one cow with “pus dripping from its udder”, and fields covered in hazardous objects.

The four other charges Peroni admitted were:

  • Two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cow by failing to provide prompt effective treatment
  • Failing to provide a suitable environment for cattle by allowing them access to items that had the potential to injure them
  • Failing to tag a calf within 20 days of its birth

Jane Tomlinson, the council’s Head of Trading Standards, said Peroni ignored the council’s advice, including the “most obvious cattle welfare needs”.

Sentencing: six-week curfew; ordered to pay £2,000 in council costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

BBC News
Plymouth Herald

Peterhead, Aberdeenshire: Gary Stevens

#TheList Gary Stevens, born 13/07/1966 of Hallmoss Farm, near Peterhead AB42 3BP – for cruelty to livestock, a Shetland pony and a donkey

Gary Stevens from Peterhead caused suffering to livestock, a donkey and a pony.
Gary Stevens was jailed over the ‘extreme neglect’ of a pony and a donkey. A total of 45 animals, including horses, pigs, sheep, lambs, cats, dogs and terrapins, were removed from his Peterhead farm by the Scottish SPCA.

Stevens pleaded guilty to three of eight criminal charges raised against him under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

He had all his livestock seized by Aberdeenshire Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Service in August 2018, following a series of visits by inspectors, prompted by public concerns.

A vet deemed it necessary for the animals to be removed due to concerns over their poor condition, lack of veterinary treatment and the dreadful conditions in which they were kept.

A pig was euthanised to end its suffering and the remaining livestock were taken to a place where they could be restored to health. Aberdeenshire Council subsequently sought a disposal order at Peterhead Sheriff Court which was granted in February 2019 allowing the animals to be sold.

Senior council animal health and welfare inspector Pauline Anderson said: “We welcome the strong sentence that has been imposed in what was a very distressing case.

“As well as the wholesale suffering of the animals, the poor conditions at the farm meant there was a risk of disease spreading outwith the premises. The animals were kept in shocking conditions and we would like to thank Police Scotland and the Animal and Plant Health Agency for their support to allow us to remove them from the site.”

Mr Stevens was also found guilty of ‘extreme’ neglect of a Shetland pony and donkey.

The Scottish SPCA had visited Hallmoss Farm in June 2018 after concerns were raised to the charity’s animal helpline. The vet in attendance then said the state of the Shetland pony was ‘the most extreme case’ he’d come across in 34 years of practising. Her front feet were so badly deformed that they were deemed in-correctable, while her poor body condition was attributed to pain and stress, and she was subsequently put to sleep.

Inspector Fiona McKenzie said: “In my 12 years as a Scottish SPCA inspector, this is one of the worst cases I’ve ever dealt with and I’ve never seen such a disregard for animal welfare.

“We made every attempt to work constructively with Stevens and his family, including issuing statutory care notices to improve the welfare of their animals.

“They rebuffed this offer of support and were uncooperative. Ultimately, they attempted to hide the animals under the guise of them having been rehomed.

“This left us with no choice but to make a report to the procurator fiscal. From this investigation we took ownership of over 45 animals including horses, pigs, sheep, lambs, cats, dogs and terrapins.”

She added: “We worked closely with Aberdeenshire Council’s Animal Health and Welfare team who took their own case to the procurator fiscal. We are very pleased the sheriff exercised the maximum punishment available to Stevens. We hope this will act as a deterrent to others and be just one of many examples of more consistent sentencing for those who are cruel to animals.”

Sentencing: 18 months in prison, reduced to 14 because of the guilty plea. Lifetime ban on keeping all animals.

Scottish Farmer
STV News

Abertillery, Monmouthshire: Edward Bath

#TheList Edward ‘Eddie’ George Bath, born 04/06/1961, of 97 Arrael View, Abertillery NP13 1SU – for failure to care for a large number of horses, goats and poultry.

Eddie Bath from Abertillery in Wales is banned from keeping animals for life after failing to look after a large number of horses, poultry and goats in his care.
Eddie Bath from Abertillery is banned from keeping animals for life after failing to look after a large number of horses, poultry and goats in his care.

Bath pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA found significant failings in his care of 42 horses at a farm in Old Blaina Road, Abertillery

Two horses were found collapsed and were sadly put to sleep on the advice of a vet.

Eddie Bath from Abertillery in Wales is banned from keeping animals for life after failing to look after a large number of horses, poultry and goats in his care.
Eddie George Bath (Facebook image)

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “Sadly these animals were not cared for appropriately.

“The horses outside were not given enough food and were not provided for. The stables were filthy and it was just appalling to see these numbers of animals poorly being cared for.”

Inspector McNeil added: “We issued warnings to improve the conditions at the premises, which included a large number of horses, two goats and poultry.

“Sadly this advice was not taken on board and in March we returned and through a warrant, we removed 37 horses. One of these horses was put to sleep due to its condition on the advice of a vet. On this occasion, we also removed 20 poultry and two goats – one of which was pregnant.”

All animals are now signed over to the RSPCA and are being placed into the rehoming process.

Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence for each offence (to run concurrently) suspended for 18 months; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £1,675 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.

Wales247
South Wales Argus