Two people from Gwynedd, Wales have been prosecuted and banned from owning, keeping, dealing, or transporting any farm animal.
The individuals caused a flock of sheep to be the subject of unnecessary suffering by failing to properly care for them on their farm.
Philip Edward Wyn Davies and Lowri Mererid Davies previously of Bronydd Isaf Farm, Llanllechid appeared before Caernarfon Magistrates’ Court on October 21st.
They pleaded guilty to six offences under animal health and welfare legislation following an investigation by Gwynedd Council’s Trading Standards team.
Offences were taken under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for causing animals to be the subject of unnecessary suffering and for failing to take appropriate and reasonable steps to secure the needs of the flock.
This included the need for animals to be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease. Other offences related to failure to dispose of sheep remains, failure to comply with notice to dispose of sheep remains and failure to record the death of a cow.
In addition to the six offences, a further 102 offences were taken into consideration by the court.
As well as a ban on keeping animals, Philip Davies was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
He was also handed a community order to complete 200 hours of unpaid work as well as a fine to pay fines and costs of £215. Lowri Davies was ordered to pay fines and costs of £530.
The investigation came to light as a result of a complaint by a member of the public concerning a lame sheep on land at Bronydd Isaf.
Animal health officers from Gwynedd Council’s Trading Standards team and the APHA veterinary team had to visit the farm several times between October 2018 and February 2019.
The court heard that a large percentage of the live sheep seen were emaciated.
Long-term malnutrition was evident, and the sheep suffered from severe scab, pneumonia, parasites, worms, and severe footrot.
300 sheep carcasses and close to 250 put down
They discovered the carcasses of about 300 sheep during the visits.
The condition of the sheep meant that on several occasions many of them had to be put down. In the end, council officials made arrangements to put down close to 250 sheep.
In the opinion of the expert witness, in this case, a number of the carcasses had been present on the farm for weeks if not months and the defendants should have sought veterinary assistance much earlier.
The farm’s stockman level, in this case, was “woefully inadequate”. The stockman appeared unable to properly provide for the health and welfare of the number of sheep in their care.
They failed to promptly attend to animals when they were lame or showing signs of disease, making them subject to unnecessary suffering.
Before death, the sheep would have been subject to unnecessary pain, distress, and suffering.
In mitigation, the defence explained to the court that the business had been suffering from financial stress and that Philip Davies had made business decisions that in retrospect were unfit business decisions.