Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Father and son plead guilty to cruelty to bull

A bull on its way to be slaughtered in the Foyle Meats abattoir at Campsie on the outskirts of Londonderry last year had to be humanely destroyed because of numerous prior injuries the animal had sustained, a court has been told.

Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy was told the injuries were so serious that the bull was taken out of the food chain after it was destroyed.

Gregory Boyd (45), from Rasharkin in Ballymena, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the bull while it was being transported on July 7 last year.

His father Samuel Boyd, a cattle dealer in his 70s, also from Rasharkin, pleaded guilty to permitting an act of cruelty on the same date. Neither defendant was in court but their solicitor John Fahy said they were admitting the offences.

A prosecution solicitor said Foyle Meats staff alerted a vet when they saw the bull lying on its side. Efforts were made to get the animal back on its feet but it had to be destroyed. The prosecutor said Samuel Boyd had no previous relevant convictions but Gregory Boyd had several relevant convictions.

Mr Fahy said his clients bought the bull “believing it could be cured”. When treatment didn’t work the defendants decided to take it to the abattoir, and it fell en route.

After viewing photos of the injuries, Mr Kennedy said he didn't believe the explanation.

The judge fined Samuel Boyd £750 and deferred sentencing on Gregory Boyd until October 18.

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