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Agriculture news

Smallholder guilty of breaching life ban on keeping animals

Posted on: 19 December 2018

A Somerset smallholder has been given an eight-month suspended prison sentence for breaching his life ban from keeping animals.

Martin Veysey, 63, of Bridgwater, Somerset, pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act and the Cattle Identification Regulations on Tuesday 18 December at Taunton Crown Court.

Veysey was banned for life from keeping animals in 2011 after he was prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide appropriate care for his animals.

The latest prosecution was brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service and related to the purchase, transport and ownership of cattle obtained from markets in the South West as well as a pony and an American bulldog.

Veysey was also found guilty for failing to report and record the movements of cattle and failing to surrender the passports of cattle to Defra’s British Cattle Movement Service.

The court heard that the prosecution followed an investigation by Trading Standards Officers.

Officers gathered intelligence from several sources including from members of the public, who responded to adverts he had placed to sell animals, as well as the RSPCA, livestock auctioneers and landowners who had witnessed his involvement with animals.

Judge Ticehurst sentenced Veysey to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and he was told he had to pay costs of £2,115.

In handing down the sentence, the judge told Veysey that ‘the legislation is intended to protect animals from cowboys like you’ and warned him any further breaches would mean that he would go to prison.

Stephen Gardiner, Interventions Manager for Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service, said: “The Animal Welfare Act is intended to protect animals from unnecessary suffering and sets out comprehensive welfare standards for the keeping of livestock.

“The rules on cattle registration and movement are there for a reason, to help prevent the unchecked spread of disease.

“We are there to support farmers and smallholders but if these rules are broken we will not hesitate to take enforcement action where appropriate.”