12/08/2020 - Permalink

Shropshire farmer sentenced for animal welfare offences

Related topics: Public protection

Shropshire Council has successfully prosecuted a local farmer following an investigation by its animal health team.

On 29 June 2020 at Telford Magistrates Court, Huw Lloyd Ellis of Pentrewern, Shropshire was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85, as well as pay the full prosecution costs to Shropshire Council.

Mr Ellis had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal By-Products (England) (Enforcement) Regulations 2011 regarding cattle at three farm sites operated by him.

The Court heard that in April 2019 officers from Shropshire Council and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) visited Mr Ellis’ three farm sites and found a pile of cattle carcasses, as well as cows that were unable to stand. Mr Ellis had failed to seek appropriate veterinary care for these animals thereby causing them to suffer unnecessarily – which is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

In sentencing, District Judge Grego warned Mr Ellis that he considered the nature of the offences to be very serious and consideration was given to imposing a custodial sentence and disqualifying him from keeping cattle in future. Were it not for the submission of the mitigation put forward by the defence, he would have imposed such a sentence.

Judge Grego also noted that despite a demonstration that Mr Ellis was implementing better practices at the farm holdings, there was still need for improvement.

Mr Ellis was warned that Judge Grego had considered imposing a disqualification order against him which would mean a ban on him keeping cattl. However, given the improvements in running the holdings, such an order was not passed.

Mr Ellis was reminded that if he were to commit further offences in the future, he would likely face imprisonment and the loss of his livelihood through him being disqualified from keeping cattle in the future.

Karen Collier, Shropshire Council’s regulatory services operations manager said:

“This was a very difficult and distressing situation for animal health officers from the council’s regulatory services team to deal with. Our officers carry out regular checks to ensure animal welfare legislation is adhered to. Anyone found to be in breach of the legislation to protect animals will be investigated and appropriate action taken.”