Farmer sentenced

A Staffordshire livestock keeper from Great Wyrley has been handed a 27-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to a string of animal health charges at Stafford Crown Court, according to Staffordshire Newsroom (19th August 2019).

John Sadler was sentenced after pleading guilty to offences relating to the failure to dispose of animal carcasses and failing to register cattle on his holding.

Sadler was also found guilty on counts of fraud by misrepresentation, by giving calves false dates of birth, failing to present 61 cattle for TB testing, failing to register cattle deaths on his farm and failing to produce a herd register to an inspector when requested.

In court, Sadler also received fines totalling £6,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £9,500.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader, Gill Heath, said:

“The vast majority of livestock keepers act responsibly and play an important part in our rural economy. Unfortunately, on rare occasions we do get cases like this and our Trading Standards and Animal Health teams will act accordingly to protect animals and legitimate businesses.”

The court also heard that when the council’s animal health officers visited Sadler’s farm in January 2018, they found the carcasses of four dead sheep and multiple bones from other dead animals that had not been disposed of correctly.

Officers also found a large number of cattle that had no identification and that were not registered as being on the farm with the British Cattle Movement Service, which is against the law.

Furthermore, Sadler could not produce either the cattle passports or the herd register for the cattle, and subsequent enquiries revealed that he had attempted to register some of the cattle but had given them a date of birth that was false and misleading.

From the visits made by the animal health officer and enquiries with regards to the TB testing undertaken at the farm, it was identified that Sadler had failed to present 61 cattle for their statutory bovine TB test and more than 50% of the herd at that time remained untested. The last time the full herd was tested for bTB was in 2013.