Posted on: 23 August 2019
A Buckfastleigh farmer has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years following a prosecution brought by Devon, Somerset & Torbay Trading Standards Service (DSTTSS).
Graham Mabin, 36, of Market Close, Buckfastleigh, was sentenced (Wednesday 21 August 2019) at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court.
He had pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to two charges under the Animal Welfare Act, two charges under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations and one charge under the Animal By-Products Regulations.
These offences were in relation to his treatment of sheep under his care including a charge of unnecessary suffering in relation to a sheep where the spine of the animal was visible through an infected wound.
In December 2018 officers from DSTTSS and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) visited land farmed by Mabin and found an emaciated sheep laying in the corner of a pen with a large festering wound.
The sheep could not stand up without help and the wound was so large and deep that the spine of the animal could be seen.
In the same area officers found three lambs that were lethargic and emaciated. One lamb had an infected ear wound filled with pus and another had an infected foot with an easily detachable hoof.
None of the animals had access to clean drinking water.
On a further visit in January 2019 officers found that inadequate records were kept on the farm in relation to medicines used and the movements of animals. These records are important for the integrity of the food chain and were not present.
At his sentencing Magistrates said that Mabin had passed the custody threshold due to the number of animals involved, the level of suffering caused and the repeated failure to follow advice issued by Trading Standards.
In addition to the 10 year ban, Mabin was sentenced to four months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and was ordered to pay £1185 in costs and fees. He must also engage with the probation service and undertake rehabilitation activities.
Alex Roddis, Investigations Team Manager for Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service, said:
“The welfare legislation for animals sets out very clearly the acceptable standards that those keeping animals must meet.
“In allowing animals to suffer, Mr Mabin has fallen well short of these standards.
“Despite the efforts and advice offered by Trading Standards Officers and Animal and Plant Health Agency vets during previous interventions with Mr Mabin he has continued to operate in a non-compliant manner.
“Thankfully, having to take this kind of legal action is rare, and most farmers and smallholders take the welfare of their animals very seriously.
“Our staff work hard to try to assist and support farmers in relation to animal care, but when advice is repeatedly ignored or where we find serious breaches, we will take appropriate action and work with partners to prosecute those responsible.”