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