Livestock ban for farmer who refused vet’s advice

A Cheshire livestock farmer has been banned from keeping animals for three years after he refused advice from a vet, leading to his dog’s leg being amputated.

Brian Belfield repeatedly ignored medical guidance, leaving his dog with a severe leg injury for seven months.

The dog was eventually taken away by the RSPCA, who were forced to amputate its leg.

The Macclesfield magistrates’ court heard that sheepdog trainer Mr Belfield, of Rainow Road, Higher Hurdsfield, was herding sheep in March 2011 when his dog broke its leg.

The dog – one of five owned by the farmer – was given a temporary splint by vets and told to return the following week for the leg to be amputated or for surgery to mend the break.

But the court was told Mr Belfield was unhappy with the advice and opted to treat the animal himself, creating his own cast.

The RSPCA visited the farm in October from a tip-off from the public. Officials found the dog unable to put weight on its leg.

John Brooks, defending, said Mr Belfield genuinely felt he could treat the dog himself.

But District Judge Nicholas Sanders said: “Neither your finances or attitude are getting any better.

“Your finances are very limited and you really don’t appear to accept advice.”

Following a hearing, Mr Belfield was told he had two months to find alternative homes for his sheepdogs, as well as the 50 sheep on his farm.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,831 and carry out 140 hours of community service.

Outside court Mr Belfield said he would appeal the ruling. “I have treated broken legs of many livestock and dogs with a 100% success rate,” he said. “If I do not win my appeal, I am finished.”

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