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Court hears farmer kept animals in horrendous conditions

Veterinary officers found animals kept in horrendous conditions, unsuitably housed, and a number had to be humanely destroyed to prevent further suffering.

The details emerged at Armagh Magistrates’ Court this week, where a County Armagh famer was convicted of a number of animal welfare charges.

Robert McKeown, 55, of Cloveneden Road in Loughgall, was convicted of a dozen charges in total, and the photographs here show some of the horrific scenes which DARD Veterinary Officers discovered.

He was convicted of one charge, by reason to act or failure to act by him, of causing unnecessary suffering to two bovine animals.

One animal was emaciated and showed signs of suffering from chronic diarrhoea, while the other was also emaciated and showed signs of suffering from chronic pneumonia.

He was additionally convicted of the following:

* two charges of failing to ensure the needs of three animals were met to the extent required by good practice

* two charges of failure to provide adequate care without delay for three animals which appeared to be ill or injured

Pic%201

* two charges of failure to comply with notices requiring him to provide a safe environment for his animals and requiring him to provide sufficient feeding spaces for housed cattle

* one charge of failing to ensure that the accommodation for his animals was maintained to ensure it was not likely to cause injury to his animalsPic%204

* one charge of failing to have the carcases of two animals collected without undue delay

* one charge of failing to hold a carcase in such a manner as to ensure that any animal or bird would not have access to it

* one charge of failing to have the body of a bovine animal tested for BSE within 24 hours of its deathPic%203

* one charge of failing to produce his medicine records.

At the local Magistrates’ Court this week, the defendant was disqualified from keeping bovine animals for two years in respect of the Welfare of Animals Act 2011 charges.

He was given a conditional discharge for two years in respect of the other charges.Pic%202

The court heard how, following a complaint by a member of the public, DARD Veterinary Service staff carried out a number of welfare inspections on the local farm.

It was reported that officers found animals being kept in horrendous conditions, in unsuitable housing.

It was revealed that a number of animals had to be humanely put down to prevent further suffering.Pic%205

A number of improvement notices under the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (NI) 2012 were issued to the farmer in relation to the conditions his animals were being kept in, but he failed to comply with them.

 

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