27th September 2022

Farm guilty of welfare offences

A West Dorset farm which caused unnecessary suffering to cattle has been fined more than £50,000.

By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
When advice and basic animal husbandry is ignored, formal action can and does follow

An investigation by Dorset Council Trading Standards has resulted in a hefty fine for a dairy farm that caused unnecessary suffering to its livestock.

A cow with an injured leg that had not received veterinary treatment (image credit: Dorset Council Trading Standards)

When Trading Standards Officers visited Higher Kingston Russell Farm in West Dorset in April 2021 they found three sick and emaciated calves, a cow with a badly injured front leg that had not received veterinary treatment for three months and a calf trapped in wire, as well as dirty animal pens, water troughs and feeding equipment.

They also found dead calves in pens with live cattle and various cattle skulls and bones scattered around the farm.

Ireosa Ltd, which operates the farm, appeared at Poole Magistrates Court for sentencing on 20 September, having pleaded guilty to seven animal health and welfare, animal by-products and feed legislation offences at an earlier hearing.

The company was fined a total of £52,650 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £6,186.

Officers from Dorset Council Trading Standards service had been visiting the farm regularly over the past six years in repeated efforts to ensure that welfare standards were improved. As a result of their visit in April 2021, the farm lost its Red Tractor accreditation for a minimum period of two years.

Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer and Community Services, said: “Our Trading Standards team work with livestock keepers to improve the welfare of their animals, but when advice and basic animal husbandry is ignored, formal action can and does follow.

“All livestock keepers have a clear responsibility to ensure conditions they keep animals in, and the care they are given, is adequate. Where there is evidence of unnecessary suffering we will intervene and consider formal enforcement action.”

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