A farmer who left rotting sheep carcasses on her farm has been banned from keeping livestock for two years.

Sarah Hill, 55, from Hidden Valley Farm in Winford, North Somerset, admitted seven breaches of animal welfare legislation when she appeared at North Somerset Magistrates Court last Thursday (30 August).

North Somerset Council’s trading standards team prosecuted her following reports received in February about rotting sheep carcases spotted on her land in Butcombe. They found seven rotting sheep carcasses in the caravan (pictured).

When officers visited they found 13 dead sheep at the site – along with a further 75 with serious underlying health issues.

Ms Hill pleaded guilty to neglecting her duty of care to the animals on her farm, failing to provide the flock of sheep with sufficient feed and failing to care for ill or injured animals without delay.

She also admitted failing to dispose of animal remains promptly making them accessible to other livestock and wildlife with the consequent risk to their health.

Ms Hill was fined £2,015 for the offences, ordered to pay £2,000 in costs and was given a banning order under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 preventing her from keeping sheep, goats and cattle for a period of two years.

Speaking after sentencing, Cllr Peter Bryant, North Somerset Council’s executive member whose portfolio includes trading standards, said: “This was a serious case of neglect which had the potential to affect the welfare of neighbouring livestock and businesses.”

Anyone with information of individuals not disposing of animal carcases in the correct manner is urged to contact Trading Standards on 0845 04 05 06.

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