Farmer fined over foot and mouth laws

A SUFFOLK farmer is nearly £4,500 out of pocket today after he broke foot and mouth laws by feeding human food waste to pigs.At South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich Christopher Proctor, 55, of Mill Road, Newbourne, admitted feeding fish and chip shop waste to his pigs – in direct contravention of tough new laws on animal husbandry.

WHAT a vet found on a Suffolk smallholding led to a man who fed fish-and-chip shop waste to pigs facing animal welfare offences.

Christopher Proctor, 55, of Mill Road, Newbourne, admitted at South East Suffolk magistrates to feeding the material in contravention of laws introduced after last year's foot and mouth epidemic.

Jennifer Alexander, prosecuting, said Proctor had contacted Trading Standards on December 6 last year to check if he was still able to feed fish-shop batter to his animals.

Miss Alexander said inspection official John Chaplin went to the farm and met Proctor. Mr Chaplin became concerned about conditions and called in a vet.

A further inspection was carried out the next day, after which Proctor was charged with animal welfare offences as well as breaking new hygiene laws.

Miss Alexander said the vet found a sheep's carcass covered with an old duvet, chicken bones in a pigsty, and unsuitable living conditions for pigs and chickens on

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the smallholding.

Proctor admitted keeping human food waste on his smallholding, feeding it to animals, allowing his animals to eat unrendered meat, failing to dispose of an animal carcass, and seven other animal welfare charges.

Brent McDonald, defending, said Proctor had "been overwhelmed by the intolerable burdens placed on

farmers'' during and after the foot and mouth crisis.

Mr McDonald said the number of animals on Proctor's smallholding had grown due to movement restrictions imposed during the crisis.

This, in addition to a long-running battle over plans to build a new house, had left his client under a great deal of stress, Mr McDonald added.

He said Proctor had co-operated fully with officials and had taken steps to tackle the problems as soon as

they were raised.

Magistrates fined Proctor £2,000 for failing to dispose of the sheep's carcass and a further £200 for each of the animal welfare offences.

On top of his total fine of £3,400, Proctor was also ordered to pay costs of £1,020.