A judge has handed a 56-day prison sentence to a farmer for animal cruelty-related offences.
Keith Barber of Joys Green Lydbrook appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates Court on August 11th, 2021.
Forest of Dean District Council (FODDC) prosecuted the individual for offences relating to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Barber pleaded guilty to three offences of animal cruelty at a court hearing for:
- Failing to ensure the welfare of an animal, namely two Collie dogs he owned.
He was sentenced for these offences and also in relation to offences against Herefordshire and Gloucestershire County Councils – all relating to animal welfare issues.
Also, he was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment for breaching his suspended sentence and 14 days for each of the other cases, making a total of 56 days he would spend in custody.
The judge ordered him to pay £415 in costs, and a Victim Surcharge of £50 payable to FODDC.
The judge also handed him a lifetime disqualification from keeping animals (except for his pet dog).
Dogs in ‘poor’ condition
The council brought the case after finding Mr Barber’s dogs in “poor conditions” on his small-holding in September 2018.
Officers conducted visits after receiving a complaint regarding a distressed dog barking on the site.
They found dogs housed in a small kennel with little exercise area, which prevented them from being able to foul and urinate away from their sleeping area.
In October 2018, a statutory improvement notice was issued to Mr Barber to make improvements to the site and kennels.
After the notice was served, further visits from the Street Warden Team in 2019 were conducted, and only one dog remained on site. However, the conditions had not improved even though he had constructed an exercise area.
There were indications of rats onsite with no evidence of vermin control. Close to where the dog was housed was a large muck pile.
There was evidence of pools of slurry and/or faeces on site. On another part of the farm, there was a lamb that was feeding from a trough from which rats were also feeding.
It was the council’s opinion that whilst the defendant initially complied with the first improvement notice by extending the kennel, his behaviour since then had shown a wilful refusal to attend to the basic needs of his dogs.
Gloucestershire Trading Standards prosecuted the farmer in February 2019 and was banned from keeping livestock for ten years.
He was then prosecuted again in March 2020 for flouting a ban on keeping livestock. A judge sentenced him to 18 weeks in prison suspended for two years with financial penalties.