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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Cumbrian farmer fined for ignoring cow's eye cancer

A farmer has been fined for one of the worst cases of animal neglect seen by a veterinary inspector during his 34 year career.

A nine-year-old cow owned by David Anthony Brown had a long standing cancer of the eye with a secondary infection that had spread causing blindness and pain, heard West Cumbria Magistrates' Court.

Brown, 59, of Willows Farm, Seaton, near Workington, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the cow between October 1, 2013 and December 4, 2013 and while transporting the animal to abattoir.

He was fined a total of £1,566, told to pay costs of £1,517 and a victim surcharge of £120 - a total of £3,203.

The court heard a Cumbria Trading Standards animal health inspector was asked to attend the Carlisle abattoir by the Food Standards Agency following a pre-slaughter welfare inspection.

The cow was suffering from a severe infection in its right eye. A second vet found the cow was emaciated, had facial swelling and was suffering from lesion and trauma to the eye. He ruled it was unfit for human consumption and should be immediately destroyed.

Analysis of the body at the Animal Health and Veterinary Services Authority laboratories discovered the cancer and other infection.

The condition was assessed to have been present for many months, causing unnecessary suffering, heard the court in Workington. The Veterinary Investigation Officer said it was probably one of the worst cases of neglect that he had seen in 34 years in practice.

Trading Standards' Graham Winder said after the hearing: “This was a particularly severe case of neglect where a farmer has chosen not to take action to ease an animal’s suffering.

"The size of the court fine and costs far outweigh the costs Mr Brown would have incurred by calling in professional treatment for this suffering animal earlier on."

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