25th Oct, 2020

Evesham farmer banned from keeping livestock for 10 years

AN EVESHAM farmer has been banned from keeping livestock for 10 years after an investigation found his cattle were being kept in poor conditions.

Martin Phillips, 74, a farmer of 5 Leysfield, Harvington, appeared at Worcester Magistrates’ Court last Thursday where he pleaded guilty to a single animal welfare offence.

The prosecution was brought by Worcestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service following a joint investigation with the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Rural Payments Agency.

The prosecution case only related to a single animal under Phillips’ care, but the case followed on from an earlier civil hearing involving the seizure of 57 cattle owned by Phillips.

At a hearing in June, the Magistrates Court made an order which allowed the County Council to sell the animals to recover some of the costs incurred from maintaining and seizing them.

Although Phillips had been advised on a number of previous occasions by Worcestershire Trading Standards, reports of issues with the health and poor keeping conditions of the cattle had continued over a period of time.

In sentencing Phillips, the Magistrates said they had taken into account the extent of the offending and in particular his personal circumstances.

The Magistrates concluded that a financial penalty was the appropriate sentence and having taken into account his limited finances a fine of £120 plus a victim surcharge of £30 was imposed. A contribution to costs of £1,350 was also ordered.

Philips was also handed a banning order which prevents him from keeping livestock for 10 years, with the exception of chickens.

Coun Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “Experienced farmers should be aware of their responsibilities and take them seriously.

“Laws are in place to protect livestock, control disease and to ensure the safety of the wider food chain. We will not hesitate to investigate and where necessary prosecute farmers who contravene these laws.”

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