A farmer has been jailed for 12 months after scores of dead and rotting animals were found on his farm.

Trading standards officers found rotting carcasses of pigs, cows, poultry and a donkey when they visited Keith James Littlewood’s farm in Bestwood, Nottingham, last June.

Animals were found starving, with no access to food or water, and feeding off the carcasses of dead animals, a court heard.

Sentencing him for animal cruelty and breaching animal by-product laws at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday (27 January), Judge Michael Stokes QC, the Recorder of Nottingham, said: I’ve never in my life seen anything as appalling that what I saw on the DVDs and photographs shown to me.”

The DVD and pictures were from an inspection carried out by Nottinghamshire Country Council trading standards following a complaint from a member of the public who had concerns over the welfare of animals on the farm.

Trading standards officers who visited White Haven Farm in Goosedale Lane, Bestwood, told the court it was “the most horrific incident that had ever dealt with”.

Littlewood, an accredited British water fowl judge, had admitted four breaches of the Animal Bi-Product Regulations over the non-removal of carcasses, and eight breaches of the Animal Welfare Act for causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Commenting on the case, the NFU said it was shocked by Littlewood’s neglect.

Spokeswoman Alison Pratt said: “Mr Littlewood has fallen through the net of very high animal welfare and husbandry standards practiced by British farmers.

“This seems to be a very exceptional situation and the conditions in which these animals were discovered are shocking in the extreme.”