Category Archives: Farm animals

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

Lincolnshire Pig Abusers: Gavin Hardy, Arturs Grigorjevs and Troy Wagstaff

#TheList Gavin Hardy , born 29/09/79, of 18 Greengate Lane, Immingham DN40 3EZ, Troy Wagstaff, born 06/03/88, of Willow Close, Ulceby DN39 6UR , and Arturs Grigorjevs, born c. 1986, of Oak Avenue, Goole DN14 – relentlessly abused pigs by kicking them in the face and jabbing them with pitchforks; caught on camera slamming a gate into an animal’s head

Trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire
These three men regularly subjected defenceless pigs to “gratuitous, appalling and sickening” brutality

Hardy, Wagstaff and Grigorjevs, former employees of Goxhill’s Fir Tree Farm, which is operated by Elsham Linc, all admitted causing unnecessary suffering to pigs.

The case was brought by the RSPCA following an undercover investigation by animal rights group Animal Equality.

Hidden cameras were put inside the farm and these uncovered horrific footage of abuse.

The main culprit was Troy Wagstaff, a supervisor who, ironically, was actually the farm’s designated animal welfare manager responsible for animal welfare practice.

Trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire
A severely scarred pig at Fir Tree Farm

Wagstaff admitted abusing numerous pigs between April 2 and April 27, 2018, by causing unnecessary suffering through inflicting blunt force trauma and physical violence.

He denied a second charge of abusing a pig by spraying paint into its nose. The prosecution offered no evidence on that matter.

Gavin Hardy, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Gavin Hardy

Gavin Hardy admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two pigs at the farm through inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and the inappropriate use of a pitchfork between April 25 and 27, 2018.

Arturs Grigorjevs, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Arturs Grigorjevs

Latvian national Arturs Grigorjevs admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four pigs through inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and the inappropriate use of a pitchfork,when knowing that the act was likely to have this effect.

Cameras were planted in Fir Tree Farm after suspicions that pigs were being ill-treated and these revealed pigs being subjected to horrific abuse.

The pigs’ squeals can be heard as they try to escape from the men around the pens.

Gordon Holt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Grimsby Magistrates’ Court that there was “repeated abuse and cruelty” to “multiple pigs”.

Wagstaff was the unit’s supervisor for nine months and had worked there since 2006.

He was the designated animal welfare manager and had monthly meetings with others about animal welfare practice.

Hardy was a stockman and had worked at the farm for about 20 years.

Grigorjevs had worked with pigs for about nine years.

Elsham Linc, which is owned by the Godfrey family, sacked the men after an investigation, saying the actions were “abhorrent behaviour that does not represent our business”.

Gavin Hardy, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
A ticking time bomb? Gavin Hardy’s own solicitor admitted that his client was desensitised to animal suffering having worked on Godfreys’ pig farm for 20 years

Gavin Hardy had shown “no remorse”, his legal team said. His lawyers claimed he was ”desensitised” to the rearing and slaughtering of pigs after working at the farm for 20 years.

Wagstaff was described by his lawyers as “weak and foolish” but “full of remorse”.

Latvian national Arturs Grigorjevs, one of the trio responsible for horrific abuse of pigs at Fir Tree Farm in Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Latvian Grigorjevs pictured outside court

The court heard Artis Grigorjevs recognised that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Sentencing:
The three were given an eight-week suspended prison sentence, 100 hours’ unpaid work and were banned from working with or transporting commercial livestock indefinitely. They must each pay £500 costs and a Government-imposed £115 victims’ surcharge.

Grimsby Telegraph


Methlick, Aberdeenshire: Marshall Hay

#TheList Marshall Hay, born c. 1940, of Castlehill, Methlick, Aberdeenshire AB41 – left three steer bovines to suffer in agony with ingrowing horns that had penetrated their skin; all three euthanised

Farmer Marshall Hay had a complete disregard for the welfare of his animals

Hay pled guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering under section 19 of the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 to a black and white male steer, and consecutively two red male cattle.

Senior Scottish SPCA inspector Alison Simpson said, “This charge was dealt as Hay failed to seek standard veterinary treatment for his cattle, predominantly three males.

“The first of the three was a black and white castrated male, who, upon veterinary examination was discovered to have an ingrown right horn, protruding four inches into the sinus, creating a seven centimetre wide hole in his head. After removing the ingrown horn, dressing the wound and injecting antibiotics it was noticed he had a broken right tibia. The decision was immediately made to euthanise the cow to prevent further suffering.

“The second of the cattle in question, a red castrated male, was found to have both horns growing into the side of his head. The horn on the right hand side of his head was embedded into the soft tissue. The ingrown horn on the right side had punctured the skin 5 centimetres, leaving a hole in which you could insert a finger. The horn on the left hand side was also overgrown although not to such a bad extent.

“The last was also a red coloured castrated male. His right horn had also grown into his head and the left side round the front of his eye. The horn on the right hand side was embedded into the soft tissue and once removed, was also found to be piercing five centimetres into his head. The horn on the left hand side was obscuring the animal’s eye and starting to penetrate the skin.

“The decision was made to put both red males to sleep to prevent further suffering.

“We are happy that Hay pled guilty and this sentence handed down.

“Prosecution is always a last resort for the Scottish SPCA and every effort was made to work with Hay prior to this, however the disregard for his animal’s welfare led us to having no choice.

“The remaining cattle at that time were moved from the premises, however we are aware that after these cattle were moved, more have since arrived at Hay’s property.

“Hay has two months before the ban is enforced.”

Sentencing: two-year ban on keeping or owning cattle, suspended by two months.

Scottish SPCA News

Barlby, North Yorkshire: Keith Lewis

#TheList Keith Lewis, born c. 1948, of York Road, Barlby, North Yorkshire YO8 – a serial abuser with three separate convictions for neglect involving dozens of animals including dogs, rabbits, ferrets and birds

In December 2018 RSPCA officers discovered Lewis’s injured dog Meg tethered to a pipe with a chain inside a dark and muddy shed. She had an infected+- neck wound caused by embedded twine.

In the latest prosecution case against him serial abuser Keith Lewis admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog named Meg

The RSPCA attended Lewis’s property on 13 December 2018, along with police after a call from a member of the public and found Meg tethered to a pipe with a chain inside a dark and muddy shed.

RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell said: “The chain and tether were absolutely filthy, caked in mud and faeces.

“You could see that whatever Meg had around her neck was really tight and there was an obvious smell of infection coming from her.

“On closer inspection it became clear that it was in fact bailer twine and she needed urgent veterinary attention.”

Meg was seized by police and taken to a vets who found the area around her neck was matted with pus.

The twine – which had been wrapped around her neck multiple times – was embedded in her skin and muscle and infected, and when the vet cut it off she found a wound all the way around her neck.

Meg’s temperature was high – most likely as a result of the infection – and her lower body was matted with dirt and faeces.

She was operated on to clip and clean the wound and stitch it up and hospitalised for five days.

Veterinary evidence suggested that Meg had suffered for at least two weeks.

Inspector Mitchell said: “This is the worst tethering injury I’ve ever seen in a dog. It was absolutely terrible and she suffered a great deal.

“The RSPCA does not agree with tethering dogs for long periods as it can cause distress and restrict natural behaviours but this in itself is not illegal providing that their needs are being met.”

Meg was signed over shortly afterward coming into RSPCA care and has been rehomed.

In mitigation the court heard that Lewis had pleaded guilty, that Meg had been moved to the shed following complaints about her continuously howling where she had been previously tethered near to a public footpath, that he had animals all his life and a disqualification would have a real impact on him.

However, the court remarked that he had previous animal cruelty convictions which were an aggravating factor.

Lewis was first prosecuted in 2016 when York magistrates heard how he kept 60 animals living in filthy, squalid and cramped conditions in former agricultural buildings in Barlby.

On that occasion he admitted neglect offences in relations to about 30 of the animals, mostly poultry and rabbits, and was banned from keeping caged animals for 10 years and ordered to do a 12-week curfew.

Three months after he appeared in court, police and an RSPCA inspector found two ferrets at his house in what the RSPCA’s prosecuting solicitor Phil Brown called “frankly appalling” conditions. They had no water, they were kept with piles of faeces and dirty bedding and three rotting rabbit carcasses.

Lewis was again taken to court and this time admitted breaching the 10-year animal ban, and failure to care for animals.

He received a second 10-year animal ban, preventing him having animals kept in cages.

But in December 2018, the RSPCA found Meg with the untreated wound round her neck.

At each of his three hearings, he claimed through his solicitors that the animals belonged to his son, claims that are not accepted by the RSPCA.

Sentencing (February 2019): 24-week prison sentence, suspended for two years; total of £415 costs and charges. Banned indefinitely from owning or having any part in the care of any animal of any species. A deprivation order was placed on any other animals in his care, including a number of dogs, cats, poultry, sheep, cows and pigs.

Yorkshire Post
York Press
Previous:
York Press

Llandysul, Ceredigion: David and Evan Meirion Davies

#TheList farmers David Davies , born 1956, and brother Evan Meirion Davies, born 1969, both of Penffynnon Farm, Bangor Teifi, Llandysul SA44 4HX – for a catalogue of appalling cruelty to cattle

Cattle in the care of brothers David and Evan Meirion Davies were housed in terrible conditions, with no food, water or dry lying area.
Cattle in the care of brothers David and Evan Meirion Davies were housed in terrible conditions, with no food, water or dry lying area.

Brothers David Davies, and Evan Meirion Davies admitted 13 charges of animal cruelty.

The prosecution follows a visit by animal health officers and a Animal and Plant Health Agency vet to the farm in April 2018.

Officers found 58 cattle carcasses in various states of decay in the cattle sheds and surrounding fields. The remaining cattle were housed in terrible conditions, with no food, water or dry lying area.

The vet confirmed that the cattle were being caused unnecessary suffering, and also formed the opinion that the dead cattle had also succumbed to the horrendous conditions found in the sheds, and died of neglect. The vet had to euthanise two cattle to stop further suffering during visits to the premises.

This was the worst case of animal welfare neglect seen to date by the animal health team of Ceredigion County Council, they said.

In sentencing, the magistrates acknowledged the evidence of horrendous suffering, inadequate care and poor animal husbandry displayed by both defendants to the animals.

The Cabinet member responsible for public protection, Cllr Gareth Lloyd said: “This was a truly shocking case of neglect that caused terrible suffering to so many animals. We will not hesitate to act decisively whenever we need to protect animal welfare.”

“This was an extreme case, and in no way reflects on the dedication of the overwhelming majority of Ceredigion farmers in maintaining the highest standards of care for their animals.”

Sentencing:
16 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months. Ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,500 each. Disqualified from keeping any animals of any description for five years. The pair were allowed 28 days in which to make the necessary arrangements.

Cambrian News

Jaywick, Essex: Monshur Alom

#TheList company director Monshur Alom, born 28/11/1981, of 169 Golf Green Road, Jaywick, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 2RL – exposed his Bengal cats to 31 degree heat and left ducks outside without fresh food or water for more than a week

Convicted animal abuser Monshur Alom of Stepney, London, and with links to Jaywick, Essex

Chelmsford magistrates were shown graphic images of the animals’ living conditions during an eight-day period in June 2018, before RSPCA inspectors were able to contact owner Monshur Alom.

Alom, a furniture dealer trading as Royal London Antiques and director of a company named Cheque Bid Ltd, admitted to three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act.

The animals were being kept at the address in Golf Green Road, Jaywick, so the new dad could renovate his other home in Sidney Street, Stepney, London to accommodate the animals and his growing family.

Lauren Bond, prosecuting, called him “clearly unfit” to look after animals.

The ducks, and exotic cats, which he had no licence to keep, are now with the RSPCA.

Ms Bond said: “The inspector was overwhelmed by the heat in the conservatory and the ammonia smell burnt his nose.

“There was blood over the floor as though the cats had dragged raw meat but there was no sign of a carcass. There was a trough of water which was bright green, and large litter trays that appeared very full.

“Outside the ducks were confined to a one metre by three metre alleyway. There was liquid faeces on the floor and it smelt disgusting.”

It was his first time before the court in relation to animal welfare.

Mrs Scoot, mitigating, explained life had got on top of him and he had also been unwell.

Convicted animal abuser Monshur Alom of Stepney, London, and with links to Jaywick, Essex

However, he did accept his actions were a “form of neglect”.

She said: “He’s had the cats for two years and there’s never been any concern or need for the RSPCA to address him or the family.

“Unfortunately, the cats weren’t litter trained so he had them in the property for a short time and renovations were being made to their current property to give them appropriate living conditions.

“He’d had the ducks for significantly less time. A friend was going to kill them so he took the ducks and was going to find another home for them.

“He didn’t plan to keep them long term.”

Sentencing:
180 hours of unpaid work; £685 costs. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Southend Standard

Crediton, Devon: Michael Rice

#TheList farmer Michael Rice, born c. 1950, of High View, Woodland Head, Crediton EX17 5HE – kept cattle in appalling conditions; failed to treat very poorly cow.

Officers described the living conditions for the animals throughout the farm as ‘generally poor’, as several animals did not have a dry lying area and had access to sharp objects which posed a risk to their health such as farm machinery and rusty nails.

The case was brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service following an investigation into concerns for the welfare of his cattle.

Trading standards officers and a vet from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) visited the farm and discovered a bovine which appeared to have been unable to stand for several weeks with no access to water or supplementary feed.

Rice had previously been advised by a vet that if the animal’s health didn’t improve it should be culled. However several weeks later, when trading standards visited his farm, he had made no attempt to do so.

The vet believed that the animal was subjected to ‘avoidable and unnecessary suffering’ under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 both by failure to cull without delay and failure to isolate the sick animal and house it in suitable accommodation with dry comfortable bedding.

District Judge Matson described the conditions on the farm as ‘appalling’ and the condition the bovine was left in as ‘extremely upsetting and distressing’.

Sentencing:
16-week suspended prison sentence, fined £6,970 and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Farming UK

Cullompton, Devon: Edward Shere

Edward Shere, born c. 1989, of Gingerland Livery Yard, Colebrooke Lane, Cullompton EX15 1PD – shot a pet pig called Ivor three times before dragging him, still alive, onto a trailer with a winch

Edward Shere
Callous Edward Shere caused pet pig Ivor tremendous suffering in his final moments

Shere, a former stocksman with the Portman Hunt, had denied harming the pig but was found guilty of causing him unnecessary suffering.

RSPCA officials said Shere was contacted on the hunt’s emergency line by Ivor’s owner.

The owner asked Shere to humanely destroy the pet pig at a smallholding. Vets had advised the animal be euthanised.

However, the defendant used an ‘incorrect weapon’ and failed to properly and humanely euthanise Ivor, who weighed 340 kilograms.

Shere then winched the much-loved family pet onto a trailer while he still alive in front of his owners, who had gathered to say their final goodbyes.

Ivor’s owner has since set up a campaign group on Facebook.

RSPCA chief inspector Mike Butcher, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “It’s essential all animals are treated in a way which safeguards their welfare at all times, throughout their entire life.

“Many animals have their lives ended due to being put down as a result of illness, age or infirmity.

“At this upsetting final stage of an animal’s life, owners place their full trust in those employed to humanely put animals to sleep to do so competently and without causing the type of suffering Ivor sadly experienced.”

Sentencing: disqualified for transporting (but not keeping) animals for three years. 120 hours of unpaid work; £750 fine.

Bournemouth Echo

Bridgwater, Somerset: Martin Veysey

#TheList Martin Veysey, born c. 1955, of 6 Albert Court, Albert Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 7ET – breached a previous life ban on keeping animals imposed on him in 2011

Veysey pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act and the Cattle Identification Regulations on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at Taunton Crown Court.

Veysey was banned for life from keeping animals in 2011 after he was prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide appropriate care for his animals.

The latest prosecution was brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service and related to the purchase, transport and ownership of cattle obtained from markets in the South West.

Charges also related to a pony and an American bulldog owned by Veysey.

Veysey was also found guilty for failing to report and record the movements of cattle and failing to surrender the passports of cattle to Defra’s British Cattle Movement Service.

The court heard that the prosecution followed an investigation by Trading Standards officers.

Officers gathered intelligence from several sources including from members of the public, who responded to adverts he had placed to sell animals, as well as the RSPCA, livestock auctioneers and landowners who had witnessed his involvement with animals.

In sentencing Veysey, the judge told him that ‘the legislation is intended to protect animals from cowboys like you’ and warned him any further breaches would mean that he would go to prison.

Sentencing: eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. Costs of £2,115.

BridgwaterMercury