A farmer who left dead animals lying among the living has been banned from keeping livestock for twenty years.
William Mawhinney, (74), of Ballybracken Road between Kells and Doagh, was convicted of two charges of causing unnecessary suffering, six charges of failing to take such steps as were reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the needs of animals were met and three charges of failing to dispose of animal carcases.
William Mawhinney was convicted and disqualified from owning animals, keeping animals, participating in keeping animals, being party to an arrangement under which he is entitled to control or influence the way in which animals are kept, from dealing in animals, from transporting and arranging the transport of animals for 20 years.
He also received five months imprisonment suspended for three years and a government department was granted a seizure order by the court.
A Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs press release said the case arose as a result of discrepancies found during inspections of William Mawhinney’s cattle herd and sheep flock between January 2018 and May 2018.
At these inspections, department officers found numerous animals living in poor conditions with no access to food and water and no clean dry lying area.
Some animals required veterinary attention and there were dead animals in areas with the living animals. One cow and one sheep had to be euthanised to prevent any further suffering.
William Mawhinney was convicted of two charges of, by reason of an act of failure to act by himself caused unnecessary suffering to an animal and he knew or ought reasonably to have known that the said act or failure to act would have that effect or was likely to do so, contrary to Section 4(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
He was convicted of six charges of, failure to take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the needs of an animal for which he was responsible were met to the extent required by good practice, contrary to Section 9(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
He was convicted of three charges of, being a person to whom an animal by-product requirement applied, in contravention of Regulation 6 of the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, failed to hold a carcase or part of a carcase of any farmed animal that had not been slaughtered for human consumption, pending consignment or disposal, in accordance with the EU Control Regulations as read with the EU Implementing Regulations, in such a manner as to ensure that any animal or bird would not have access to it, contrary to Regulation 19 of the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
The press release added: “The Department gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary.
“It would be good practice (as well as being a legal requirement), to remove without delay an animal carcase from a farm to prevent spread of disease and protect public health and avoid detrimental effects on the environment.”