Category Archives: Farm animals

St Clears, Carmarthen: Steffan Harris and Barbara Howell

#TheList Steffan Lee Harris, born 17/12/93, and Barbara Ray Howell, born 21/08/93, of Gorwyn, Tenby Road, St Clears, Carmarthen SA33 4JN – kept dozens of dogs in shocking conditions at illegal puppy farm

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales

Steffan Lee Harris and partner Barbara Ray Howell pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences, running a dog breeding business without a licence, and consumer offences relating to the advertising of dogs online.

Animal inspectors found starving and sick dogs being held in sheds and barns at premises operated by the couple who sold puppies online while pretending to be private sellers.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told the court how the couple advertised on a website called, ironically, he said, preloved.co.uk.

One buyer paid £225 for a puppy from a caravan the pair rented at Waun Dwni farm, Tanygroes. The animal became ill before the buyer got back home to Cardiff and they ended up paying £700 in vet’s bills.

Mr Hobson said the puppy had not been microchipped, vaccinated or treated for fleas as the couple had claimed in their advertisement.

A major investigation followed, first by Ceredigion County Council and then by the RSPCA.

Inspectors found 82 dogs being kept in poor conditions – 49 breeding females, 12 males and 21 puppies ready for sale.

Many of the dogs were kept in small enclosures with little light or access to fresh air with poor or muddy bedding and sharp corners and low-hanging electrical cables across the pens.

A lurcher could hardly move, a terrier was tied to a breeze block and a collie had a body score of one out of nine and was close to death.

Another dog was kept in a sealed container and it appeared impossible for anyone to get in to feed or water her, said Mr Hobson.

Inspectors also found pigs squealing through lack of food and water, and chickens that appeared not to have been fed or given access to water. One chicken collapsed in front of them.

The court heard Harris, who was present during the inspection, was “less than cooperative” during the process.

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales
Barbara Howell and Steffan Harris

Harris and Howell both admitted cruelty offences in relation to the pigs and Harris to the chickens.

Mr Hobson said further investigation showed that Harris had a flock of 110 sheep on nearby land, which he rented.

The owner became concerned because he did not seem to be there to look after them and inspectors found sheep carcasses that should have been disposed of properly.

After Harris was made aware of their concerns the sheep disappeared, apart from 19 which he seemed to have simply abandoned.

Mr Hobson said an initial financial investigation suggested the couple had banked £150,000 between 2013 and 2018 through the sale of puppies.

A Proceeds of Crime Act investigation is underway to determine how much money could been confiscated from them. That matter will be settled at a court hearing on 15 November, 2019.

After his arrest Harris said he wanted to get the puppy farm up and running before applying for a licence.

Howell said she only looked after the paperwork.

For Harris and Howell James Hartson said he accepted that anyone seeing the photographs of the dogs could not fail to be mortified.

“They had ambitions for a business but lost control. It is likely the financial consequences will be punitive,” he added.

Mr Hartson urged the judge not to impose banning orders preventing the defendants from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs as that would effectively stop Harris from carrying out his work as a herdsman.

Judge Peter Heywood said animals were defenceless and Harris and Howell had housed them in totally inappropriate surroundings.

“This was a significant commercial enterprise and Harris was the driving force,” he added.

“You were in it to make money and had no regard for the welfare of the animals.”

The judge said Harris, who cannot read or write, had been the “driving force” behind the enterprise while Howell had assisted him.

He said he would be failing in his public duty if he suspended Harris’ sentence, but took into account that Howell had a young child when sentencing her.

Sentencing: Harris was jailed for six months (half to be served on licence) while Howell was given a four-month suspended sentence and ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement. Both were made the subject of banning orders preventing them from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs, chickens, and sheep for the next five years.

WalesOnline
Cambrian News

Bradford Halal Slaughterhouse Cruelty: Dale Valley Rossendale Ltd and Employees

#TheList for cruelty to sheep at a halal abattoir – Dale Valley Rossendale Ltd (Malik Foods), Malik Halls, 47 Great Horton Road, Bradford BD7 1AZ (director Junaid Imtiaz Malik, born April 1979 and recent ex-director and previous offender Stephen Lee Riley, born July 1980, of Dunnockshaw Farm, Burnley BB11 5PP), employees Imdad Ali of 31 Park Road, Accrington BB4 1SU, Joseph Bell of Carr Bank Farm, Crawshawbooth, Rossendale BB4 8UE, David Hargreaves of Adelaide Street, Crawshawbooth, and Elizabeth Bennett of 26 Humber Street, Preston PR3 3WD

Faces of cruelty: director of Dale Valley Rossendale Ltd Junaid Malik and three of the four employees prosecuted for animal abuse

The brutal treatment of sheep at a halal non-stun abattoir was caught on covert CCTV installed by animal welfare charity, Animal Aid.

Blackburn magistrates heard how it showed animals having their throats hacked at repeatedly by a slaughterman responsible for ‘sticking’ them.

Animals were not correctly restrained or loaded during the slaughter process causing greater distress.

The court was told when the overseeing vet was present all procedures were carried out correctly.

Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said: “It is not that they were ignorant of the regulations, these were deliberate breaches.”

Abattoir operator Dale Valley Rossendale Limited pleaded guilty to eight offences under Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing Regulations for England and was fined £5,000 plus £2,000 costs.

Imdad Ali, aged 47, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure sheep were not moved, shacked or hoisted after they had been stuck and before it was unconscious, failing to ensure a sheep was killed by severance of its carotid arteries and jugular veins by rapid, uninterrupted movements of a knife, excessive flexing of the neck of a sheep during sticking, failing to ensure sheep were moved with care, and sticking a sheep while it was not properly restrained causing it to fall to the floor while being bled.

He was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Joseph Bell and girlfriend Elizabeth Bennett were both prosecuted for their part in the cruelty at the Dunnockshaw Farm halal slaughterhouse
Joseph Bell and girlfriend Elizabeth Bennett were both prosecuted for their part in the cruelty at the Dunnockshaw Farm halal slaughterhouse

Joseph ‘Joe’ Bell, born 09/06/96, pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the improper handling of the sheep prior to slaughter. He was given a community order for 12 months with 120 hours’ unpaid work and ordered to pay £150 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

David Hargreaves, 35, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that every animal was moved with care by lifting ten sheep by their fleeces and/or tails when loading them into restrainers. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £130 costs.

Joseph Bell and girlfriend Elizabeth Bennett were both prosecuted for their part in the cruelty at the Dunnockshaw Farm halal slaughterhouse

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Bennett, 21, pleaded guilty to offences under the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing Regulations. She was fined £120 and ordered to pay £100 costs.

Mr Shaw said the prosecution case was that a large number of sheep were caused to suffer unnecessarily during slaughter operations at the Dunnockshaw Farm abattoir on two days in March 2017.

Animal Aid commissioned two freelance investigators to install covert cameras in the killing room.

The investigators secretly entered the premises at night and installed the cameras which eventually provided the evidence on which the Foods Standards Agency based the prosecution.

Mr Shaw said over two days of filming 94 per cent of the sheep killed by non-stun halal methods were not slaughtered in compliance with the welfare requirements.

He said sheep were thrown into restraints and roughly handled prior to slaughter.

Ali failed to carry out the slaughter in the approved manner – a single rapid cut – and animals were moved after the cut before they had lost consciousness.

A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said: “The Food Standards Agency takes animal welfare at slaughterhouses very seriously and we investigate all reported breaches. We welcome that the business and individuals have been convicted and sentenced for their actions.

“Where abattoirs fail to uphold animal welfare standards, the FSA will investigate and seek to have prosecutions brought against those responsible.”

An Animal Aid spokeswoman said:‘While it is positive that this long-running case has finally concluded, we certainly do not feel that justice has been adequately served. These lenient sentences in no way reflect the gravity of the terrible suffering that was inflicted on gentle animals at the most vulnerable time of their short lives.

“It is important to emphasise the shocking scenes we filmed at this slaughterhouse were by no means unique. We have filmed inside 15 slaughterhouses, and found law-breaking in almost every case. Incidents filmed at other slaughterhouses include animals being beaten, kicked and burnt with cigarettes.

“But even when the law is followed to the letter, slaughter can never be cruelty-free. Slaughterhouses are merciless places, where animals’ lives are brutally taken from them.

“We would urge anyone who is shocked by this case to try a cruelty-free diet. Going vegan is the single best thing we can all do to help animals.”

Lancashire Telegraph
Lancs Live
Animal Aid

Background:
Animal Aid investigation
Britain’s Failing Slaughterhouses published by Animal Aid

Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales: Dylan Williams

#TheList farmer Dylan E Williams, born c. 1972, of Neuaddlwyd Isaf, Ciliau Aeron, Lampeter SA48 7RE – pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land.

Dylan Williams from Ciliau Aeron, SW Wales, was convicted of cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land

Williams, who also owns a tree surgery business, pleaded guilty to four animal welfare and animal by-products offences after an investigation carried out by Ceredigion Council.

When animal welfare officers visited the farm in April 2018, they found 47 sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition. These carcasses were accessible by other sheep and young lambs that were still alive.

Dylan Williams from Ciliau Aeron, SW Wales, was convicted of cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land

The council said the majority of sheep seen on the land were suffering from severe wool loss and irritated skin, signs of a debilitating condition known as sheep scab.

Two of the charges brought against Williams under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 concerned the causing of unnecessary suffering to two ewes – one of which was found unconscious with her intestines protruding from her body.

Dylan Williams from Ciliau Aeron, SW Wales, was convicted of cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land

Another offence related to Williams not meeting the welfare needs of his sheep due to the fact that he failed to properly inspect the flock. He also failed to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.

In total, there were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and one under the Animal By-Products Regulations.

Sentencing: 250 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £1,648 costs. Not banned from keeping animals.

Daily Post
Wales Online

Firth Park, Sheffield: Ali El-Aridi

#TheList Ali El-Aridi, born c. 1996, of 89 Stubbins Lane, Sheffield S5 6QJ – kidnapped a sheep from a beauty spot and abandoned her in a suburban street; caught with extreme animal porn on his mobile phone

Pervert Ali El-Aridi from Sheffield kept animal porn and filmed himself on Snapchat stealing a sheep from a beauty spot
Pervert Ali El-Aridi from Sheffield kept animal porn and filmed himself on Snapchat stealing a sheep from a beauty spot

Ali El-Aridi filmed himself chasing a sheep along the banks of Ladybower Reservoir. When he eventually caught her, El-Aridi directed an expletive-filled rant at the animal, which he recorded on his phone.

He then drove the sheep to his home city and released her into a suburban area, again filming it all as he went.

The theft, in August 2018, came to the attention of Derbyshire Rural Crime Team after members of the public who witnessed the theft from the other side of the reservoir posted what they had seen on Facebook.

Within a day the sheep had been reunited with her owner, having been rescued from the Wincobank area of Sheffield by some of the local community, and El-Aridi was identified.

Officers examined El Aridi’s phone and found the evidence he had filmed, as well as two extreme pornographic material, specifically a collage picture of images of a dead cat in various sexual acts with a man, and a video of a horse involved in oral sex with a man.

Pervert Ali El-Aridi from Sheffield kept animal porn and filmed himself on Snapchat stealing a sheep from a beauty spot

El-Aridi admitted theft and was found guilty of possessing extreme pornography.

Pervert Ali El-Aridi from Sheffield kept animal porn and filmed himself on Snapchat stealing a sheep from a beauty spot

Speaking about the case PC Andy Shaw, Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team, noted El-Aridi’s “sheer disregard” for the welfare of the sheep and that “he seemed to care significantly more about the mess it had made to his boot lining.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order of 100 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay £620 in costs.

Yorkshire Evening Post
BBC News

March, Cambridgeshire: Lee Fisher

#TheList Lee John Fisher, born c. 1988, of 4 Haslehurst Close, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9BB – jailed after RSPCA find pigs lying dead and emaciated in Chatteris

Farmer Lee John Fisher of March, Cambridgeshire, left pigs to starve to death in horrible conditions
Farmer Lee John Fisher of March, Cambridgeshire, left pigs to starve to death in horrible conditions

Fisher entered a guilty plea to ten offences under the Animal Welfare Act in April and was then sentenced at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on May 16, 2019.

The charges relate to the inadequate diet given to the pigs and a lack of veterinary care provided for them.

Following the investigation 103 pigs were signed over into RSPCA care.

Farmer Lee John Fisher of March, Cambridgeshire, left pigs to starve to death in horrible conditions

RSPCA Inspector Alex Coghlan attended the site in August 2018. She said: “We were alerted to the state of this land via an anonymous letter including photographs.

“The smell of the site hit you as soon as you walked in, the pigs were being kept in cramped conditions and in some cases alive animals were lying alongside dead ones.

“It was distressing to see particularly as only one pen had any water for the pigs, when we offered the younger pigs a drink they were frantic. I was very concerned for the welfare of these animals.”

Sentencing: two 18-week custodial sentences and eight 9-week custodial sentences on the charges, to run concurrently. £600 costs. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 15 years.

Cambs Times

Belton, Doncaster: Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker

#TheList hoarders Simon Hallgarth, born c. 1971, and partner Paul Walker, born c. 1976, both of 2 Holland Close Villas, Woodhouse, Belton, Doncaster DN9 1QJ – for cruelty towards 52 dogs and three goats

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats
Simon Hallgarth (right) and Paul Walker of Belton, Doncaster, were jailed and have been banned from keeping animals for life after admitting cruelty to dozens of dogs and three goats

Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker pleaded guilty to 11 offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats

The RSPCA were alerted to the plight of the pair’s animals after receiving a call to its cruelty line about three abandoned goats, who were found living in a poor environment with no access to water.

As RSPCA Inspector Tamsin Drysdale spoke to Walker, a number of dogs could be heard barking from inside a garage nearby so she asked if she could see them.

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats

She said: ““As the garage door was opened the smell of faeces and urine was overwhelming. There were four pens with various breeds of dogs living in them.

“Their food and water bowls were filthy and empty and the dogs were pungent, their coats in various stages of matting.

“The three dogs in the last pen were in such a poor condition I wasn’t sure what breed they were. Two of the dogs were moving, albeit very slowly, but the third dog, a Bichon Frise called Peggy, appeared to be dead.

“I went into the pen and gently shook her and I was shocked when she moved slightly.

“At the vets she was found to be very thin, in respiratory distress and hypothermic. She was initially unable to be examined because of the extent of the matting, which had to be cut away.

“She had a fractured wrist and wounds on her back legs so badly infected that they were down to the bone. The damage was irreparable and she was put to sleep on humane grounds.

“A large number of dogs were also living in the house, and though these were in better condition than those in the garage, many of these were also suffering.”

Hoarders Simon Hallgarth and Paul Walker of Doncaster were jailed and given lifetime animal ban for neglecting dozens of dogs and three goats

Three other dogs were also put to sleep on veterinary advice, including a 17-year-old Shih Tzu called Daisy who was in severe respiratory distress and had two blind shrunken eyes that were discharging green pus and her ears were also discharging pus.

Another dog, Cookie, had to have a leg amputated.

Seven of the 52 dogs removed from the property were suffering with severe dental disease, four of them with ear infections, two of them with eye infections and one with overgrown nails that had penetrated the pads of the dog’s feet.

Thirteen of the dogs and the three goats did not have their needs met due to the environment they were living in and/or a lack of fresh clean drinking water.

In mitigation, the court heard that Hallgarth had bought the dogs as a way of coping after the death of his mother in 2013, with whom he had bought the property, lived and owned dogs previously.

He accepted that he had caused very high suffering and was remorseful.

Hoarders Paul Walker (left) and Simon Hallgarth from Doncaster have been banned from keeping animals for life
Hoarders Paul Walker (left) and Simon Hallgarth from Doncaster have been banned from keeping animals for life

In respect of Walker, the court heard that the offences had been borne out of concern and care for his husband.

The court heard that both defendants were overwhelmed financially and by the level of care the animals needed. They were of previous good character and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Sentencing: 14 weeks in prison; post-sentence supervision orders of 12 months, less the time served in prison. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

The Star


Camrose, Haverfordwest: Mark Mathias

#TheList Mark Phillip Mathias, born November 1978, of Chapel Hill, Camrose, Haverfordwest SA62 6JN – left dozens of cows to suffer on his farm

Cows were kept in horrific conditions at Mark Mathias's farm in Camrose, Haverfordwest, Wales.

Four cows belonging to Mark Mathias had to be put down to prevent further suffering.

Distressing images from the farm show cows lying on their sides in field, and a pile of carcasses left in a farmyard area

The ruling follows a prosecution by Pembrokeshire County Council.

The court heard that between March 20 and July 12, 2018, 14 visits were made to the farm by animal health and welfare inspectors.

The first visit followed a report of a calf being on its side in the farm yard which was thought to be suffering with no bedding or care provided.Cow carcasses were also discovered by officers on a yard near baled feed for the herd and inside a large trailer.

Other welfare concerns were noted within the herd and notices were issued to dispose of the carcasses correctly, to address welfare concerns and to improve conditions on the farm.

The court was told that throughout the ensuing visits, additional notices and further advice was given to Mathias by officers and vets.

These related to conditions on the farm in which the cattle were being kept, welfare concerns, including for specific animals which required veterinary attention and for removal of animal by-products.

The court was told that four animals had suffered unnecessarily which resulted in them being destroyed.

A large number of cattle had also been moved onto the site while a TB restriction notice was in place, prohibiting moves on or off site without a licence.

Mathias pleaded guilty to failing to observe the terms of the notice.

As part of mitigation for Mathias, reference was made to the mental, physical and financial issues involved in the farming business.

Sentencing: 200-hour community service order; costs and charges totalling £585. Disqualified from keeping, owning, participating in, or influencing the keeping of bovine animals for a period of 12 months.

Milford Mercury

Bangor Teifi, Llandysul, West Wales: Margarette and Norman Cooper

#TheList Margarette Cooper, born c.1938, and son Norman Cooper, born c. 1963, both of Gilfach Chwith, Bangor Teifi, Llandysul, Ceredigion SA44 4JE – convicted of animal cruelty after dozens of cows died in ‘nightmare scenes’ at their farm

One of the cows was tethered to prevent her from falling on her side. She died whilst still tied to the wall
One of the cows was tethered to prevent her from falling on her side. She died whilst still tied to the wall

An investigation by Ceredigion Council found a total of 84 cattle had died or had been seriously neglected at the farm run by Margarette and Norman Cooper.

In one shed, a group of exhausted, hungry and dehydrated cows had gone to lie down and die
In one shed, a group of exhausted, hungry and dehydrated cows had gone to lie down and die

On the farm, the carcasses of dead cows were found decaying alongside surviving cattle. Among those that had survived, some had to be put down following examination due to the seriousness of their health and their suffering.

“The animal health officers involved with this case have never experienced such appalling conditions at any farm in their careers,” said Alun Williams, corporate lead officer for policy and performance at Ceredigion Council.

“Most of the staff are from farming backgrounds, but they faced horrific circumstances in investigating and retrieving the live animals and the carcasses.”

Sentencing: both were given six months in jail, suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £2615 each. Norman Cooper was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Both were disqualified from keeping any animals for 10 years, other than their existing four elderly dogs.

North Wales Live

Cambridge: Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets

#TheList Benjamin Rudge, born September 1975, and Olena Lobunets, born December 1971, both of 8 Richard Foster Road, Cambridge CB2 8DW – left a herd of fallow deer to starve to death in a field

The deer left to starve at Clermont Hall by callous Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets from Cambridge. The surviving animals have recovered well in the care of the RSPCA.
The deer left to starve at Clermont Hall by callous Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets from Cambridge. The surviving animals have recovered well in the care of the RSPCA.

Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets left 14 fallow deer in a paddock at Clermont Hall, Little Cressingham, Thetford, without food or shelter through the worst of the Beast from the East.

During a visit to the property in February 2018, RSPCA inspectors found one deer had died and another had collapsed. The collapsed animal and three others subsequently died.

Former company director Rudge and Ukrainian national Lobunets had been renting out the mansion and three cottages as a holiday home from £3,956 a week for up to 36 people at a time.

Jonathan Eales, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said a housekeeper was employed to look after the property and the fallow deer but he did not have money for animal feed.

He said the animal welfare charity visited the hall after it was contacted by walkers concerned at the condition of the deer.

Inspectors found the animals were emaciated, while their pen was bare of any grass and infested with molehills.

RSPCA workers began visiting to feed the animals, but three more died.

Mr Eales said post mortem examinations revealed the deer were severely underweight and emaciated.

He said: ‘These deer died as a result of neglect. They were malnourished, dehydrated, they were incapable of surviving in an enclosure where there was insufficient food and no shelter.’

Speaking after the hearing, a spokesman for the RSPCA recalled the state of the deer when they first arrived at the estate.

He said: ‘The deer were very skinny – you could clearly see their ribs and their hip bones were protruding.

‘We hoped to remove the animals but expert vets said they were too weak to be moved at that stage. Vets advised us to feed them and our officers, who had launched an investigation, visited them daily to monitor their condition.

‘Ongoing tests established that, in addition to underfeeding, there were problems with worms and poisonous ragwort in the field so the herd needed to be moved to new pastures before ragwort started to come through in spring.

‘The owners failed to move the herd so vets felt they needed to be taken into our care.’

The spokesperson added: ‘The deer have recovered well and are now living with a private deer keeper.

Sentencing: deprivation order to pass ownership of the surviving deer to the RSPCA. Banned from keeping deer for two years. No costs were awarded and no further penalties were ordered against the couple.

Daily Mail
Eastern Daily Press

Stapleford Abbotts, Romford: Edwin Harris

#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.

Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.

He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.

The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
A Jack Russell rescued from a life of misery at the hands of her cruel owner Edwin Harris

Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.

Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.
Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.

The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.

RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.

“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.

“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.

“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”

Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation

In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Romford Recorder