Cattle ban for cow cruelty farmer

A farmer has been banned from keeping cattle for two years after not looking after his herd of 90 cattle properly and causing unnecessary suffering to one animal.

Dorset farmer Brian Pitman, 61, was found guilty of 13 charges by Bournemouth magistrates on Wednesday (16 May).

Trading standards officers from Dorset County Council swooped on Uppington Farm in Chalbury, near Wimborne, in November 2010 and seized his herd. Eight animals died or were later put down.

Mr Pitman failed to feed his entire herd adequately and get treatment for sick or injured animals, the court was told.

He had faced 19 charges and pleaded guilty to two charges relating to animal identification for disease control. He was also found guilty of breaching disease control regulations.

Magistrates fined Mr Pitman £515 for the offences. They also banned him from keeping cattle for two years and gave him an eight-week curfew order. Under the conditions, he will be fitted with an electronic tag.

Pitman told the court he had struggled to care for his cattle because of ill health.

He said only six or eight of his cattle were poorly, owing to a fluke injection which he had treated.

After sentencing, Mr Pitman told the BBC: “This will cause me hardship.

“I’m not completely satisfied with the way the case was handled, but now totally relieved that we can put a line under this whole matter.”

Ivan Hancock, Dorset County Council trading standards service manager, said: “This case involved underfeeding of 90 animals – a whole herd – and unnecessary suffering being caused to one.

“The seizure of the whole herd of someone’s animals is something that we don’t take lightly at all, and this has happened twice to Mr Pitman in the last five years.

“It’s something we only consider in extreme conditions when we think that the animals may suffer if we leave them in the possession of someone.”

Dorset County Council had previously seized a herd of up to 90 cattle from Mr Pitman’s farm in 2009 after another inspection.

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