May 23 2013 Latest news:
Colin Adwent Crime Correspondent
Saturday, October 20, 2012
A SUFFOLK farmer has been given a suspended prison sentence and is banned indefinitely from keeping livestock after admitting a raft of animal welfare charges.
One of David Dedman’s animals – a pregnant downer cow which did not have enough energy to carry her calf – was in such poor health that it subsequently had to be put down.
Dedman, of Pond Hall Road, Hadleigh, pleaded guilty to 12 offences during his appearances before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich.
The 42-year-old had 15 cattle, five calves, four pigs and a sheep on his farm when Suffolk trading standards officers received had an anonymous complaint relating to their welfare in June last year.
An inspection with a vet from the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratory Agency was carried out.
Using an accepted scale from 0-5 relating to body conditioning, the vet found five of the cows and a sheep had a score of below one, which meant they were in very poor condition. Eight cattle and two pigs were assessed as one on the same scale.
The pregnant cow had to be given medicine in an attempt to abort the calf. However the treatment was unsuccessful and the cow had to be put down after several days.
A notice was issued to ensure all the animals were fed and looked after sufficiently, and a month later there were signs of improvement in the condition of the livestock.
Despite this, by the end of September 2011 there were signs of deterioration, which continued further in October.
At the request of trading standards officers Dedman sold and re-homed some of his cattle, but the pigs and the calves were signed over to Suffolk Trading Standards Department. These were then transported to Hill Farm Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk.
Dedman originally pleaded guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering of the pregnant cow and six offences under the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007 relating to the failure to tag his animals, or register the birth or death of several animals within the specified time.
He also admitted not being acquainted with the relevant codes of practice for the welfare of animals.
At a further hearing on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to three more offences of causing unnecessary suffering and one of contravening the welfare of farmed animals.
In addition to a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, Dedman was given an electronically monitored curfew from 10pm to 6am for 28 days and ordered to pay £2,000 court costs.
Furthermore the court granted a disqualification order under Animal Welfare Act from keeping cattle, sheep, pigs and goats until further order.
After the sentencing Ayse Holmes, who was the trading standards officer on the case said: “This was a distressing case for all involved, due to the severity of the suffering and the conditions of these animals. We are pleased with the outcome of this case and the message it sends to the farming community as a whole.”