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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbrian farmer fined over carcasses charges

A farmer has been fined for failing to dispose of animal carcasses following an investigation by Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards team.

Arthur Nigel Metcalfe, formerly of Rayside, Shap, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court yesterday for failing to dispose of sheep carcasses without undue delay.

The offence was committed while he was grazing sheep on a 10-acre field at Blasterfield near Crosby Ravensworth between May 2010 and March 2011.

At an earlier hearing Metcalfe pleaded not guilty but accepted that he was aware of three carcasses present on his land when contacted in February 2011 by a Trading Standards animal health inspector.

Witnesses explained to the court how during the unusually hard winter of 2010 local farmers had to start feeding their sheep more and earlier than usual.

Metcalfe stated that he had moved away from the area to Haslingden in Lancashire and faced a 160-mile round trip to attend his sheep.

Loraine Kenny, prosecuting for Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Service, suggested that due to the adverse winter weather conditions prevailing at the time weekly visits were not consistent with Animal Welfare code requirements to inspect the flock regularly and at appropriate intervals.

Magistrates found Metcalfe guilty of failing to dispose of 16 sheep carcasses without undue delay.

Metcalfe was fine £515 including a victim surcharge payment and ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs.

Angela Jones, Cumbria County Council’s Trading Standards Service Manager, said after the court case: “Trading Standards work with the farming community to help them meet their legal duties and responsibilities.

“However, any person who has disregard for animal health and welfare legislation will be investigated and we will take legal action if necessary.”

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