Couple plead guilty to animal cruelty charges

Posted on: 15 April 2016

Anthony and Bridget Barrell of Chittlehampton have pleaded guilty to 4 counts of unnecessary suffering in relation to sheep kept in North Devon.

Exeter Magistrates Court (on the 13 April) found the matter to be of such serious nature that a custodial sentence of 11 weeks, suspended for 12 months, was imposed.

The couple have been disqualified from keeping cattle, sheep, pigs and goats for a period of seven years.

The court heard that the sheep had not been shorn for two seasons and despite receiving repeated welfare advice, when inspected by AHPA vets, animals were found to be suffering from severe fly strike with maggots boring into the flesh.

One lamb was found to be emaciated and so close to death that it had to be euthanized to avoid further suffering.

The case is the second that Devon and Somerset Trading Standards has brought against the Mr and Mrs Barrell. In 2013 the couple were found guilty of animal welfare offences against sheep and cattle, and failing to dispose of animal carcasses.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards said:

Cllr Roger Croad“The condition of livestock found by officers, despite receiving repeated advice from Trading Standards and APHA vets, was shocking.

“I’m pleased that, thanks to the strong partnership with our APHA colleagues, we’ve been able to bring the couple to justice and prevent further cruelty to livestock.”

Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for the service said:

Cllr David Hall“Where instances of unnecessary suffering are found we are committed to ensure that animals are not subjected to cruelty and action is taken against those who are responsible.”

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