Suffolk farmer banned from keeping all farmed animals until further notice

Moss2Suffolk farmer, Eric Moss, has been found guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court of 23 animal welfare offences and banned from keeping all farmed animals until further notice. Mr Moss was given a 20 week custodial sentence suspended for 2 years and ordered to pay £9,000 costs, whilst his company, ARP Farms Limited, was found guilty of 7 offences and fined £1,000.

During inspections at Botany Farm in Farnham in 2013, Suffolk Trading Standards officers discovered thin cattle that were suffering unnecessarily under the Animal Welfare Act. Mr Moss also failed to comply with an improvement notice that required him to provide his cattle with a sufficient dry lying area and adequate access to food.

Further offences were committed for not disposing of cattle carcases appropriately under Animal By-Product legislation and for failing to register the births and deaths of cattle under the Cattle Identification law. These offences were dealt with at Ipswich Crown Court in September 2014 after Mr Moss pleaded guilty.

On Suffolk Trading Standards’ initial inspection in February 2013, a young calf was found lying on its side trapped in a poorly maintained wire fence. The calf was released by Trading Standards officers and rejoined the herd of cattle.

Despite Mr Moss receiving advice from Trading Standards and a Veterinary Officer from the Animal and Plant Health Agency, further animal welfare offences were found on three subsequent inspections. These included cattle found in various locations around the farm in muddy and soiled areas and without adequate food. The Veterinary Officer who visited the farm with Trading Standards gave evidence saying the animals were in poor condition and had not been fed a sufficient diet for their nutritional needs.

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While passing sentence and when making the disqualification order including all farmed animals, District Judge Dawson at Ipswich Magistrates Court listed the aggravating factors as:

“prolonged neglect, keeping animals for financial gain and ignoring the advice of vets and Trading Standards.  It is appropriate to disqualify you and the Company.  The Company is a legal person and should be disqualified as you may be tempted to use the company as a front for another to use on your behalf.  You may be tempted to diversify into keeping other stock for profit. You are not capable of dealing with the complex demands of modern farming”.

Suffolk Trading Standards would like to encourage the farming community and members of the public to report any concerns about the welfare of farm animals to 03454 04 05 06.

Councillor Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

Causing any animal unnecessary suffering is unacceptable. When a farmer fails to look after his animals appropriately, then ignores repeated advice and warnings, and potentially puts animals and humans at risk to disease; Trading Standards has no option but to take action against them.”

“This ruling sends out a clear message to keepers of farmed animals that anyone who causes suffering to animals in their care will be dealt with severely. We therefore welcome the banning order imposed on Mr Moss and the sentence passed by the court.”

VIDEO: Calf trapped in poorly maintained fence

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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