A West Dorset dairy farm has pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cow and calf by failing to care for them, along with a range of other offenses relating to conditions on their farm.
Ireosa Ltd, which operates the Higher Kingston Russell farm near Winterborne Abbas, appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on September 20, 2022, having pleaded guilty to seven offenses at a previous hearing. These offenses were against animal health and welfare, animal by-products and animal feed legislation, and came to court following an investigation by Dorset Council Trading Standards.
They were fined a total of £52,650 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £6,186.
The court heard how officers visited the farm in April 2021, along with a veterinarian from the Animal and Plant Health Agency. They found three calves that were clearly sick and emaciated; dirty pens, water troughs and feeding equipment, and a cow with a badly injured front leg that had not received veterinary care for three months. They also had to free a calf stuck in a wire that had been left in a field with cattle. Various cattle bones and a skull were found strewn around the farm along with dead calves in pens with live cattle.
The court was told officers from the Council’s Trading Standards Department had been visiting the farm for over six years with the aim of ensuring welfare standards were improved. Following their visit in April 2021, the farm had lost its red tractor certification for a minimum period of two years.
Cllr Laura Beddow, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer and community services, said:
“Our Trading Standards team works with breeders to improve the welfare of their animals, but when basic advice and husbandry is ignored, formal action can and should follow.
“All breeders have a clear responsibility to ensure that the conditions in which they keep animals and the care given to them are adequate. Where there is evidence of unnecessary suffering, we will intervene and consider enforcement action. formal.
For advice on farm animal health and welfare or to report an animal welfare concern, Dorset residents can call the Trading Standards Animal Health Line on 01305 224475 or email to [email protected]