Category Archives: pigs

Truro, Cornwall: Gary Clark

#TheList smallholder Gary Joseph Clark, born c. 1975, of 30a River Street, Truro TR1 2SJ – kept pigs, poultry and a llama in filthy and dangerous conditions

Foul and hazardous conditions on Gary Clark's Cornwall smallholding
Foul and hazardous conditions on Gary Clark’s Cornwall smallholding

Taxi driver Clark, who also runs an auto-repairs business named Team GC Enterprises, pleaded guilty to six offences relating to a failure to care for the animals under the Animal Health Act, 2006.

The offences related to a failure to care for the pigs, poultry and llama, that were kept at Trevarth Farm allotments in Lanner, Redruth, Cornwall.

Over the course of three visits made by Cornwall Council’s Animal Health officers and an Animal Plant and Health Agency vet, the enclosure for the pigs was found to be continually waterlogged, with mud coming up to the animals’ bellies.

The only water available for them to drink was dirty and muddy and they had access to hazardous objects such as nails and sharp edges.

A llama at the site had no shelter from the elements and there were sharp objects including nails and sharp projections found in its enclosure.

The poultry was not provided with clean dry litter and also did not have access to fresh water.

Despite the extensive advice he was given over the course of the visits, Clark made only minor improvements to the unacceptable conditions in which the animals were kept. All requests to remove the sharp objects and to provide dry lying areas and fresh water were ignored.

Sentencing: total of £792 in fines and surcharge. Banned for five years from keeping farm animals, including llamas.

Falmouth Packet

New York, Lincoln: Tamara Lloyd

#TheList Tamara J Lloyd, born October 1969, of Chapelry Farm, Langrick Road, Lincoln LN4 4XH – failed to meet the needs of dozens of animals living in squalor at her sanctuary

Sanctuary from hell boss Tamara Lloyd

Following an RSPCA prosecution, Tamara Lloyd of The Alternative Animal Sanctuary was found guilty of 16 offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

More than 70 cats, 14 pigs, along with dogs, horses and terrapins were among the animals kept in ‘appalling conditions’ at the sanctuary.

The offences came to light after the RSPCA executed two separate warrants in May 2019 and January 2020.

Lloyd was filmed for a TV documentary shortly before the first raid, with footage showing the chaotic home and outdoor pens overrun by animals. Before the raid she spoke on the Channel 5 programme called ‘The Woman with 106 Dogs’, which aired in June 2020.

Scenes of animal suffering at Tamara Lloyd's sanctuary

During the first warrant, 14 Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs were found housed in an area dirty with faeces and urine accumulation and cluttered with debris and hazards.

Seventy cats did not have a suitable environment in which to live. They were surrounded by urine, faeces and ammonia and some had no access to a suitable diet and fresh drinking water

Two cats were found to have suffered failing to seek appropriate veterinary care to explore and address painful ear infections.

Five more cats were found to be suffering with chronic dental disease that not been treated.

A boar had a severely in-grown tusk. This had penetrated through his face and into the oral cavity.

Sanctuary from hell boss Tamara Lloyd

Three dogs were found with untreated infected wounds on their bodies. Another dog, named Flo, had a ligature injury to her leg – again this had not been treated

One dog had matted fur, heavily contaminated with mud, faeces and plant matter. This took two hours to remove while under a general anaesthetic.

Following the first warrant , the RSPCA served Lloyd with several improvement notices. The charity attempted to work with her over several months to reduce the number of animals on the site and to improve the welfare of those remaining. While initially cooperative, Lloyd went on to acquire more animals.

After further welfare concerns and complaints, another raid was carried out in January 2020. The RSPCA confirmed that one dog was found dead and another was put to sleep by the owner’s vet.

Witnesses described the conditions on site as ‘appalling’. Dead rats were found in the animals’ accommodation along with overflowing litter trays, stagnant dirty water and hazardous objects.

Eleven dogs were found inside the main living quarters of the house, which was described as uncomfortably warm with a strong smell of ammonia and pools of urine on the floor. There was heavy faecal and urine soiling throughout the downstairs with dirty bedding, empty food containers, a lack of sufficient water, and hazards such as general clutter, rubbish and exposed nails.

A three-legged dog was found in a dark kennel with little ventilation, which was soiled with faeces and urine.

Lloyd also did not take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the needs of seven cats for a suitable environment in which to live.

No provision of clean drinking water
Seven cats were kept in a poorly ventilated area littered with the bodies of dead rats. Again there were overflowing litter trays, and faeces and urine over the floor. The area was cluttered and hazardous. .

Two pigs had not been provided with a suitable diet including access to drinking water or a suitable environment in which to live.

The adult Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs were found to be obese and living in an area where faeces and urine had accumulated as well as debris and hazards, and dead rats, one of which was being chewed by the pigs. There was no provision of clean drinking water for the pigs and the feed for them was not suitable as was evidenced by their obese state.

Ten terrapins were found in an environment detrimental to their health and well-being. A vet noted that “slime and sludge covered the surface of the stagnant water, dead maggots were seen in excessive numbers floating on and under the water” The vet described the smell from the water and building as “putrid” and said that all had suffered for some considerable time due to their squalid environment, and were severely immuno-suppressed.

Vets deemed the animals to be suffering with obvious signs of disease and ill health and the animals were removed.

In his verdict, District Judge Peter Veits said:

“I find that [Lloyd] started with good intentions and clearly believed in the sanctity of life for her animals, but her issue here has been that she simply cannot say no.

“She needed to recognise that as a sole owner of the premises that her capacity to meet the needs of animals was limited. She either needed staff or less animals and by choosing to carry on she has undermined her sole purpose in that her failures have contributed to the suffering of animals.”

Lloyd was convicted of 16 offences and acquitted on one charge.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; costs and victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Lloyd has lodged an appeal.

Boston Standard
RSPCA News
Lincolnshire Reporter

West Wales: Sean Burns, Kenneth Evans and John Clayton

#TheList Sean Ronald Burns, born 15/08/1970, of Rosehill Lodge, Ferry Lane, Pembroke SA71 4RG, Kenneth Darren Evans, born 09/10/1975, of 28 Llys Caermedi, Carmarthen SA31 1GX, and John A Clayton (dob tbc) of 17 Rhos Las, Carmarthen SA31 2DY – convicted on charges relating to cruelty to animals at Bramble Hall Farm in Pembroke Dock and operation of an illegal slaughterhouse

Sean Burns (left) pictured outside court with his solicitor
Sean Burns (left) pictured outside court with his solicitor

Sean Burns was convicted of multiple cruelty charges in relation to 215 animals at Bramble Hall Farm, Ferry Lane, Pembroke Dock SA71 4RG.

The charges included the unlicensed breeding of dogs, welfare and animal-keeping regulation charges relating to sheep, horses, dogs, pigs, and goats.

A total of 53 pigs, 80 sheep, three goats, 58 dogs, 20 horses and one donkey were removed from the smallholding after being found living in squalor and without adequate space, food or water.

Sean Burns pictured outside court

District Judge Christopher James told Burns he had “deliberately” inflicted suffering over a “significant period of time”.

He told Burns the condition of the animals was “extremely poor”, and that some dogs and puppies had “died due to the neglect suffered at your hands”.

Atrocious conditions for the animals on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock

One horse was found with a pipe stuck in its hoof and two horses were found with no access to food or water.

They also found 10 newborn puppies in a plastic food bowl, two of which were dead.

Prosecutor Alexander Greenwood said the dogs were kept in a “hazardous environment”, with no bedding, and the floor wet with urine and faeces.

Atrocious conditions for the animals on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock

The court was told the animals displayed signs of “bullying behaviour” as food was so scarce and the bigger animals were keeping the smaller animals away from food.

The prosecution said this case of animal neglect was “one of the worst examples of its kind.”

The court heard Burns failed to provide documentation for any of the animals.

Defending, Aled Owen told the court Burns “has not got the skills to manage this farm efficiently”.

“Quite frankly, my client is illiterate,” he said.

The prosecution followed an investigation by public protection officers from Pembrokeshire Council, supported by Dyfed-Powys Police’s rural crime team.

Sean Burns is pictured alongside his mother Pamela Burns.
Sean Burns is pictured alongside his mother Pamela Burns. Although she initially faced similar charges to her son, the case against her was dropped because of her apparent ill health

Sean Burns’ mother Pamela Burns (born 12/08/1945) had faced 24 charges but the case against her ultimately did not proceed because she is said to be suffering from dementia.

Sean Burns was also convicted alongside associates John Clayton and Kenneth Evans on a string of charges relating to food hygiene, operating an illegal slaughterhouse and being involved in the illegal slaughter of sheep to produce ‘smokies’ – a West African delicacy where meat is cooked using a blow torch.

The illegal slaughterhouse operated in one of the agricultural outbuildings, with Clayton and Evans caught in the act by horrified inspectors.

The unit had been set up as a makeshift slaughter hall with six slaughtered sheep at various stages of preparation and further penned sheep awaiting the same fate.

Conditions inside the illegal slaughterhouse being operated on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock, Wales

The court was told that conditions in the slaughter hall were insanitary and the floor awash with blood from the slaughtered animals as well as by-products from the slaughter process.

A herd of pigs was seen wandering among suspended sheep carcasses, feeding on the remains of the slaughtered animals.

Approximately six further carcasses of smoked sheep were found bagged in the boot of Evans’ car, ready for onward supply.

Evidence was gathered by officers and the carcasses were seized for condemnation.

A number of sheep were subsequently euthanized for humane reasons and restrictions were placed on the herd of pigs, preventing their movement off-site to address the potential disease risk and to protect the human food chain.

Conditions inside the illegal slaughterhouse being operated on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock, Wales

Clayton was convicted in 2002 for the same offence alongside David Jones of Moelfre Farm in Llanwnnen, John Beddows of Tregaron, Ceredigion, Trefor Williams of Llandysul, Ceredigion, Alun Evans and his brother Richard Evans both of Abernewrig, Lampeter, Malcolm Taylor of Oldbury, in the West Midlands, and Alun Lloyd of Llanfrynach, Pembrokeshire

Sentencing for these offences is to follow.

Magistrates in Court in Llanelli formalised that order for the removal of the animals owned by Pamela and Sean Burns of Bramble Hall.

Sentencing: Sean Burns was given 20 weeks in prison for illegal dog breeding, animal welfare charges and other summary matters. Although Pembrokeshire Council have incurred thousands of pounds in costs, Burns was only ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge at this stage. He was handed an indefinite ban from keeping animals, including having any involvement or influence over the care or welfare of animals.

Milford Mercury
BBC News
Western Telegraph

====
Update 16/09/2020

Sean Burns of Pembroke Dock, pleaded not guilty to five charges:

  • operating a food establishment without the required approval
  • operating a slaughterhouse that failed to meet specific legal requirements relating to hygiene
  • failing to ensure food premises were clean and maintained in good repair
  • possessing unsafe food for the purpose of sale
  • failing to collect animal by-products in accordance with legal requirements

Burns was found guilty on all five counts.

For each count, Burns was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, to run concurrently.

He was also made subject to a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement for five days, and required to pay a victim supplement of £140 within 28 days.

Clayton pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing unsafe food for the purpose of sale and failing to collect animal by-products in accordance with legal requirements.

He denied three charges of operating a food establishment without the required approval, operating a slaughterhouse that failed to meet specific legal requirements relating to hygiene and failing to ensure food premises were clean and maintained in good repair.

Clayton was found guilty on all counts.

To the charges Clayton had denied he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years.

For the charges to which he pleaded guilty, he was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, to run concurrently.

Clayton was also made subject to a Curfew for three months between the hours 8pm-8am, required to wear a security tag, made subject to a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement for five days, and required to pay a victim supplement of £140 within 28 days.

Kenneth Darren Evans admitted two charges of possessing unsafe food for the purpose of sale and failing to collect animal by products in accordance with legal requirements.

Evans was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, required to undertake 150 hours unpaid work and required to pay a victim supplement of £140 within 28 days.

It should be noted that there is currently Court of Appeal guidance in place which recommends that suspended sentences should be considered in appropriate cases, due to the prevalence/risk of Covid-19 in prisons.

It is recognised that this may have led to more leniency being shown by the Court in this case.

No prosecution costs were awarded to Pembrokeshire County Council.

Pembroke Today

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

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

St Clears, Carmarthen: Steffan Harris and Barbara Howell

#TheList Steffan Lee Harris, born 17/12/1993, and Barbara Ray Howell, born 21/08/1993, 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

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

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