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Pedigree Limousin breeder fined for falsifying cattle documents

A court judge has ordered a Limousin breeder to pay £20,000 for falsifying livestock documents.

Thomas Walter Bell and the farming partnership, TW Bell & Son Ltd, of Hill Top Farm, St John’s in the Vale, near Keswick, appeared at Workington Magistrates Court on Friday, December 10th, 2021.

A statement from Cumbria County Council also added that he pleaded guilty to charges of:

  • Falsely registering dates of birth (between one and three months of age) of pedigree Limousin cattle (seven offences);
  • Failing to record the use of veterinary medicines administered to cattle.

Falsifying livestock documents

Farmers have a legal obligation to notify the date of birth of a newborn calf to the British Cattle Movement Service within 28 days.

Bell, as a British Limousin Cattle Society member, is required to notify it of:

  • The date of birth;
  • Weight;
  • Sex of the animal;
  • Parentage.

Both sets of information can be cross-referenced and should be identical.

The society records various performance data for individual animals to create estimated breeding values (EBV’s) for them.

Breeders submit the weights of animals at various ages, including birth and every 100 days up to 500-days-old.

In addition, according to the statement, Thomas Bell and TW Bell & Son each pleaded guilty to six offences for failing to record the use of veterinary medicines.

Fines

The judge fined Thomas Bell £1,300 and ordered him to pay £5,000 costs with a victim surcharge of £130, the statement added

According to the statement, the judge fined TW Bell & Son £8,580 with a further £5,000 in costs and an £18 victim surcharge, a total of £20,191.

Falsification of livestock documentation

Cllr Celia Tibble, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for the Environment (including Trading Standards), said the falsification of livestock documentation is a serious offence.

She said it could have a “devastating” impact on farmers, consumers, and the rural economy.

“Although the fine may seem like a lot, it is nothing compared to the potential cost to the local economy that Mr Bell was risking through poor monitoring and recording practices.”

“We recognise that the majority of farmers take their responsibilities seriously. However, this sends a clear message to those who don’t, that Cumbria Trading Standards will thoroughly investigate and prosecute when necessary.”

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