Tag Archives: animal husbandry

Portreath, Cornwall: Nicholas Holley

#TheList Nick Holley, born 23/07/1968, of Tramside Farm, Nancekuke, Portreath, near Redruth TR16 5UF – banned from keeping farm animals after sheep were found starved and mutilated at his smallholding

Animal abuser Nick Holley from Cornwall

Holley pleaded guilty to the following charges:

• Failing to provide adequate food to his flock of sheep

• Allowing sheep to have access to collapsed fencing and broken machinery that could have injured them

• Mutilating a sheep by docking its tail so short that the tail did not cover its vulva

• Failing to shear or provide shade to sheep in August 2019

• On 10 September 2019 caused unnecessary suffering to a sheep by failing to notice it was trapped or to release it from being trapped

Kevin Hill, prosecuting, told the court that Holley had gone on holiday and left a friend caring for 50 sheep at the smallholding, despite the friend having no previous experience of sheep husbandry.

This sheep had been trapped in fencing for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty
This sheep had been trapped in fencing for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty

Many of the sheep were emaciated yet had no supplementary feed, and the sheep had access to scrap and collapsed fencing. On a revisit, council officers found a sheep trapped in a fence; it had been trapped for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty.

In January 2020 the sheep were not being fed hay and had strayed onto neighbouring land and roadside verges to forage. Holley had been cautioned for similar offences in 2018.

The magistrates gave credit for the early guilty plea and genuine remorse.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; £5,000 costs. Banned from keeping farm animals for five years.

Falmouth Packet

Bethersden, Ashford, Kent: Tracy Middleton

#TheList Tracy Jane Middleton, born November 1968, of Little Oakhurst Brissenden Farm, Ashford Road, Bethersden, Ashford, Kent TN26 3BQ – jailed and banned from owning animals for 10 years after carcasses of sheep, lambs and cattle were found on her land.

Tracy Middleton. who was jailed after leaving dozens of animals to starve to death on her farm
Farmer Tracy Middleton was jailed after keeping animals in atrocious conditions and leaving many to starve to death

Tracy Middleton admitted 41 charges relating to animals on her farm, which covers 340 acres with 135 cows and 150 sheep. These included causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and failing to provide adequate food and water.

She also admitted to breaches concerning ear tags, and for not sufficiently dealing with the carcasses of nine dead ewes and 15 dead lambs.

In February 2019, Kent Animal Defenders complained to the RSPCA after finding a dismal scene at the farm, despite the RSPCA raising concerns in 2018.

Decomposing animals on Tracy Middleton's farm
Decomposing animals on Tracy Middleton’s farm

Andrew Price, prosecuting for Kent Trading Standards, said officials carried out a series of visits from 2018 to 2019 after being contacted by animal welfare activists.

The cattle sheds had no dry area for the cows to lie down, the water troughs were almost empty and the mud was so deep that cows found it hard to move around.

Animals had bald patches of skin. There was a dead calf in the mud and one calf was seen in the yard with bailing twine in its mouth.

Middleton’s lawyer, Gordon Crow, said his client accepted the farm was chaotic and badly-managed but that she had been overwhelmed at the time and going through a traumatic time in her life. He urged District Judge Justin Barron not to jail Middleton because of the “untold damage” this would cause her family.

However, Judge Barron said the level of suffering was so serious that the only appropriate punishment was a custodial sentence.

Addressing Middleton he said: “No one could look at those pictures and say your animals didn’t experience a high level of suffering.”

Many of the remaining animals have now been moved or sold, and a local farmer has now leased the farm.

Sentencing: 120 days in jail. Ordered to pay £8,500 costs. Banned from owning or keeping any animals for 10 years with the exception of a cat and two dogs she owns.

KentOnline
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

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