Posted: Tue 25th Oct 2016

Powys Farmer Has Narrowly Avoided Jail /
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 25th, 2016

A Powys farmer has narrowly avoided jail after he pleaded guilty for causing unnecessary suffering to his sheep and failing to provide them with sufficient levels of care. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Ivor Williams of Scalding Farm, Llyswen near Brecon has been successfully prosecuted by Powys County Council for the second time in 14 months. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Williams appeared before Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday 19 September for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act at an earlier hearing, which took place on Wednesday 12 September 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The court heard that animal health officers from the council’s Trading Standards Service visited the defendant’s farm on the 27 and 28 January this year (2016) following a complaint. During the visit, a number of sheep carcases were found on the land along with sheep that appeared in a poor condition. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The sheep were subsequently subjected to a veterinary examination, the result of which saw Mr Williams reported for three offences under the Animal Welfare Action 2006 for his failure to provide sheep with sufficient care and for causing unnecessary suffering to sheep. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The court heard that Williams was previously convicted in 2015 after pleading guilty to 12 offences which included failing to comply with animal by-product rules, causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and not take steps to ensure an animal’s welfare needs were met. At the time, he was sentenced to a 24 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During the sentencing hearing on Wednesday 19 September, Magistrates told Mr Williams that his 24 week suspended sentence from his previous conviction was being extended to a 24 month suspension. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

For the three animal welfare offences that Mr Williams pleaded guilty to on Wednesday 12 September, he was given a further 17 week prison sentence, to run concurrently with the previous sentence, suspended for 12 months by Magistrates. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Williams was also banned from keeping or having control of sheep for a period of two years, to take effect after 14 days of the court hearing. He was also ordered to pay £2,500 prosecution costs and a £80 victim surcharge, to be paid in full within 12 months. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr John Powell, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “We will not accept suffering cases like this to go unpunished and to have two court cases in a short period of time is worrying. We support the decision by the court and this is a clear warning to farmers that practices such as this will mean that we will apply for banning orders to prevent repeat offenders from holding livestock.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Clive Jones, the council’s Professional Lead for Trading Standards, said: “Officers with our service will take appropriate action in these circumstances. The majority of breaches are dealt with without the need to prosecute. However, if we come across similar cases to this, we will prosecute.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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