Farmer jailed for animal cruelty

Via the Beeb:

Farmer jailed for animal cruelty

Investigators who raided a Cheshire farm after a tip-off from worried farm workers said they discovered horrific scenes of “truly gothic proportions”.
David Dobbin’s farm in Backford, near Chester, was raided by Trading Standards and Defra officers in 2007.

They found a herd of 500 cattle – twice the number he could sustain – “some almost dead on their feet”.

Dobbin admitted disposing of bovine carcasses and animal cruelty and was jailed for four months on Friday.

The farmer, who had previously claimed Trading Standards and Defra had carried out a “witch hunt” against him, was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Dobbin’s former partner, Susan Lofthouse, 36, admitted the same charges at the Chester Crown Court hearing.

Both asked for 500 counts of failing to keep proper cattle records to be taken into account.

They also jointly admitted six specimen counts under the Trade Descriptions Act of “clocking” cattle by switching identification ear tags – some from dead cows – and four of selling such “worthless” cattle to other farmers.

Ms Lofthouse was sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for a year, and handed a 150-hour community service order.

The court heard that Dobbin endangered public health by illegally dumping cow limbs and carcasses in a grisly burial pit emitting “a pungent stench”.

They were said to have died at the rate of five a week.

» Full story plus video report here.

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