A man who illegally killed a cow on a West Yorkshire farm in 2019 has been ordered to pay fines and court costs of more than £5,700 after pleading guilty to animal welfare offences.
Officers from Lancashire County Council Trading Standards witnessed Thomas Noel Mullin shoot the animal in the back of the head at Westby Hall Farm in Gisburn. They were shocked to see the cow then run away and collide with a parked car, before Mullin made a failed attempt to stun it and then shoot it again.
Officers subsequently discovered that Mullin had not held a valid licence to slaughter animals since the late 1990s.
Welfare regulations (Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015) prohibit the slaughter of livestock on a farm by anyone who is not properly licenced, unless there is an emergency.
In court, Mullin admitted that he did not have a valid licence. Mullins also told the court that it was not an emergency killing, and admitted to an offence of shooting the animal in the back of the head, which is prohibited by law.
To be an emergency killing an objective test is always required. The animal must be injured or have a disease associated with severe pain or suffering, and there must be no other practical possibility to alleviate the pain or suffering.
Sentencing, District Judge Alex Boyd, fined Mullin £750 and ordered payment of court costs totalling £5,031.
Following the ruling, County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Cultural Services, said: “This is a shocking case and no doubt caused great distress to those who witnessed this killing.
“I am pleased that our officers were able to identify the illegal actions that took place on that day, and that the courts were able to bring this man to justice.
“The welfare of farmed animals is important and one which the public care deeply about. Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service will not hesitate to take enforcement action where necessary.”