Livestock farmer pleads guilty to animal neglect

Trading StandardsTrading Standards

Posted on: 8 November 2016

A Mid Devon farmer has pleaded guilty to failing to dispose of animal remains, failing to provide a suitable environment for his livestock and causing unnecessary suffering to a ewe.  

The case was heard at Exeter Crown Court (4th November) following an investigation by Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service (DSTSS).

Kenneth John Tucker, 67, of Curtis Gardens, entered guilty pleas to two charges of failing to dispose of dead animals under Animal By-Products Regulations, one charge of causing unnecessary suffering and two charges relating to a failure to provide animals with a suitable environment to live in. The offences were in relation to his treatment of sheep, cattle, pigs and dogs under his care.

Officers from the DSTSS officers and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) paid a number of visits to rented land farmed by Tucker between 25th February 2016 and 4th April 2016 following complaints from members of the public.

During a visit to land farmed by Tucker at Stoke Hill, Exeter, officers  discovered three sheep carcases which had been left in the enclosure to decompose.

They also found a starving ewe which was in such an emaciated state she had to be put down.

Tucker had failed to take appropriate action to prevent this unnecessary suffering.

On land in Crediton Tucker had also failed in his duty to provide housed cattle and pigs with dry bedding or a well drained area on which to rest.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with cllr-roger-croadresponsibility for Trading Standards, said:

“Officers found animals living in appallingly bad conditions. Despite advice and guidance from Trading Standards and government vets during previous visits, the conditions at the farm worsened.  Once again, partnership working with our APHA colleagues has meant that evidence was secured to bring about this conviction.”

Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Deputy Leader with cllr-david-hallresponsibility for Trading Standards, said:

“One of the animals under Tucker’s care was in such a distressing state she had to be put out of her suffering.

“We are committed to ensure that these incidents are dealt with appropriately to ensure that animals do not suffer. The law requires that animal by-products are properly disposed of in order to minimise the potential of disease spreading.”

At the same hearing Tucker also pleaded guilty to one offence of dangerous driving and was issued with an immediate interim driving disqualification.

The judge adjourned the case for pre-sentencing reports. Sentencing for all matters will take place on 16th December 2016.

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