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Gloucestershire Business News

Farmer fined for failing to dispose of dead livestock

Grotesque scenes confronted officers from Gloucestershire County Council's trading standards team when they visited a farm in Matson, Gloucester last March.

It led to a farmer being fined for failing to dispose of sheep carcases.

The trading standards officers found the rotting remains of sheep that had died on the premises at the farm land off Winneycroft Lane following reports from concerned members of the public.

The owner of the land, 28 year old Luke Coleman of 3 Hampen Cottages in Andoversford was reported for failing to dispose of the carcases in line with Animal By-Products (England) Regulations 2013.

When a Trading Standards Animal Health Inspector went out on 22nd March 2017, in addition to one of the carcases complained about, their attention was drawn to a large amount of fleece near a bale of silage.

The leg of a sheep was seen in one bale of silage and a sheep's head sticking out from another. When the silage was pulled back two further well rotted sheep carcases were found. The carcases of new born lambs and the skeleton of an older sheep were also found.

Mr. Coleman pleaded guilty at magistrates court to failing to dispose of a number of sheep carcases and of not covering them so that they could not be accessed by birds and other animals pending their disposal.

In court, Mr. Coleman was told his failure to comply with the legislation had created a risk of disease being spread to his own and neighbouring livestock.

Defending himself, Mr. Coleman stated that he had not been able to see some of the carcases as they were hidden from view and that the first time he was made aware was by contractors on site.

He said that he had hidden the carcases in the silage to avoid getting in trouble with Trading Standards as he did not have room in his Land Rover to take them for disposal that day.

The magistrates were critical of Mr. Coleman, informing him that he had a responsibility to take steps to prevent the spread of disease. As a result of his actions, he was ordered to pay the full costs incurred by the Trading Standards Service of £1,348 and fined £135 per offence. With victim surcharge included, he was told to pay a total of £1,648.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "It is important that we hold anyone that breaches this legislation to account to protect livestock holders in the county.

"Agriculture plays a major part in the fabric of Gloucestershire life and these rules are in place to help prevent the spread of disease. Ignoring them can have a damaging effect on the industry and the livelihood of people who play by the rules.

"This is an excellent result for our trading standards team and should serve as a warning to others that we will not tolerate these breaches."

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