A West Wales farmer has been fined for allowing a ram lamb’s horns to grow into its eyes blinding it.
An animal health officer discovered the lamb separated from the rest of sheep farmer Lewis Jones’ flock, walking around the field in circles.
The lamb’s horns had been allowed to grow into its eyes leaving it blind.
The animal had been suffering for weeks, Aberystwyth magistrates were told.
It is normal practice for farmers to trim sheep’s horns when there is a risk they may grow inwards.
The lamb made a full recovery after it was rescued and had its horns trimmed.
Mr Jones, 76, was also found guilty of letting his flock suffer from sheep scab.
‘Worst case of sheep scab’
One sheep was suffering so badly that an expert described it as “the worst case of sheep scab he had ever seen”.
The animal had lost most of its fleece and had little protection from the weather during some of the coldest and wettest times of the year.
Animal health officers from Ceredigion County Council (CCC) discovered the issues after they visited land at Tanycastell, Rhydyfelin, Aberystwyth, on 24 December 2015, following a complaint from the public.
Mr Jones was convicted of two charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of causing unnecessary suffering to sheep in his care.
Mr Jones, who has been farming all his life, was fined £200 for each offence and told to pay £2,564 of prosecution costs along with a £30 victim surcharge.
Sentencing him, district Judge John Parsons told Mr Jones: “The inspections of your flock have simply been inadequate.
“We know that the council inspector was easily able to find and identify the suffering of the ewe.
“And he was able to identify the ram as suffering from its behaviour.”
Unacceptable welfare standards
Speaking after the case, Huw Williams, of CCC, said: “Our animal health officers work with the local farmers and the agricultural community in general to ensure that good animal welfare standards are maintained in the county.
“The vast majority of farmers work hard to ensure that the highest possible welfare standards for their livestock.
“Unfortunately, there are instances where the husbandry and welfare standards fall far short of what is acceptable.”