Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

Farmer sentenced at Magherafelt Court

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Mr Seamus Connery, Tirgan Road, Moneymore, Magherafelt was sentenced at Magherafelt Magistrates' Court on 24 July 2013 of six charges under the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 and three charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972 and one charge under the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (NI) 2000.

Mr Connery was given a conditional discharge for two years plus £59 costs, he was also prohibited from keeping all animals for five years. Mr Connery had previously pleaded guilty to these charges.

Numerous visits were carried out between October 2011 and March 2012 to Mr Connery’s farm by DARD Officers due to atrocious, ongoing welfare conditions. Mr Connery was also given advice and help in an attempt to improve the animals condition with little or no success. Non disposal of animal carcasses has been an ongoing problem and carcasses were found in varying states of decomposition.

Notes to editors:

1. Mr Connery was convicted of three charges of being a person to whom an animal by-product requirement applied, in contravention of Regulation 6 of the Animal By-Products(Enforcement) Regulations (NI) 2011, in that he failed to hold a carcase or part of a carcase of any farmed animal that had not been slaughtered for human consumption, pending consignment or disposal, in accordance with the EU Control Regulations as read with the EU Implementing Regulations, in such a manner as to ensure that any animal or bird would not have access to it, contrary to Regulation 17 of the said Regulations.2. Mr Connery was convicted of three charges, in that he failed to comply with or contravened an animal by-product requirement, in respect to the disposal of carcases of animals contrary to Regulation 17(1) of the Animal by-Products (Enforcement) Regulations (NI) 2011.3. Mr Connery was convicted of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a heifer with breached calf contrary to section 13(g) of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972.4. Mr Connery was convicted of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an untagged black bull contrary to section 13(g) of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972.5. Mr Connery was convicted of one charge of causing or procuring, or being the owner of, permitted the causing of unnecessary suffering to a bovine animal contrary to section 13(g) of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972.

6. Mr Connery was convicted of one charge of contravening Regulation 3(2) of the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (NI) 2000, did without lawful authority or excuse fail to comply with the provisions of Schedule 1 paragraph 5 to the said Regulations in that, in respect of a bovine animal which appeared to be ill or injured, he failed to care for that animal appropriately without delay, contrary to section 2(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972.

7. The Department gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary.

8. It would be regarded as good practice to remove without delay an animal carcase from a farm to prevent spread of disease and protect public health and avoid detrimental effects to the environment.