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Farmer sentenced for transporting cow ‘not fit for the journey’

A farmer (63) from NI has appeared in court after transporting an animal that was “not fit for the journey”.

Mr William Ronald Armstrong, Gorey Road, Cabragh, Dungannon was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021.

A judge convicted him of:

  • One charge of transporting an animal that was not fit for the journey;
  • Also, one charge of transporting animals without authorisation from the competent authority.

Armstrong had previously pleaded guilty and received a 200-hour community service order.

NI farmer in court 

The case arose when a DAERA vet examined a cow at a factory that Armstrong had presented for slaughter.

The court heard the animal was “extremely emaciated and showed signs of weakness”.

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In the vet’s opinion, the cow was “unfit to be transported”. Furthermore, the vet believed the cow was subjected to an “unnecessary and avoidable” risk of injury during its transport to the abattoir.

“The department gives high priority to the welfare of animals. It operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.”

“Any breaches are investigated thoroughly, and offenders prosecuted as necessary.

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Regulations (NI) 2006 also requires that animals must be fit to travel. Furthermore, they must be cared for if they fall ill or are injured during transport.

“Competent persons” must accompany and transport animals to their destinations without undue delay.

“All those who have animals in their care either on-farm, in transit or at slaughter have a duty of care to look after that animals’ welfare,” the spokesperson concluded.

Ballybay Mart operating following High Court appearance

Meanwhile, in other court-related news, Ballybay Mart’s operating licence is no longer suspended.

The High Court lifted the temporary suspension at yesterday’s (Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021) hearing.

The mart must agree to a “number of conditions” the PRSA puts forward “to protect current and potential clients”.

The court was told that the Co Monaghan-based mart has debts of approximately €480,000-€490,000.

As That’s Farming reported, the PRSA (Property Services Regulatory Authority temporarily suspended Ballybay Mart’s licence on November 16th, 2021.

The mart was due to hold its weekly sheep sale at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, November 16th.

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