Suspended sentence for farmer over animal welfare

A local farmer has received a suspended prison sentence for a number of animal welfare charges.

James Steele, Loughview Road, Crumlin, was convicted of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to two calves, three charges of failing to ensure the needs of animals met the extent required by good practice, seven charges of failing to remove carcases, two charges of failing to comply with Animal By-products requirements, three charges of failing to notify movements and deaths of bovine animals and one charge of failing to maintain medicine records. Mr Steele had previously pleaded guilty at Antrim Magistrates’ Court to these charges.

He was disqualified from keeping animals for five years and given a 24-month prison sentence suspended for three years to run concurrently and fined £300 plus £94 costs.

The case arose from anonymous complaints, as a result of which DARD Veterinary Service staff carried out several welfare inspections on his farm. Animal By-products notices were served but at follow-up inspections, it was found that the carcases were not properly disposed of. Since these offences were recorded DARD Veterinary Service have continued to monitor the welfare of animals on Mr Steele’s farm and have taken all necessary action to prevent animal suffering.