Farmer admits leaving carcasses to rot on farm

A Lancashire livestock farmer has admitted leaving rotting carcasses of sheep, pigs and lambs in wheelie bins and trailers around his farm.

Albert Nelson, 76, left animals to decompose under blankets and metal sheets in an animal pen, as well as skeletons in bin bags at his farm in Broughton, Lancashire.

Inspectors said the conditions were so severe at Bank Hall Farm that Mr Nelson risked sparking a serious disease outbreak.

Mr Nelson was prosecuted under laws designed to prevent outbreaks of disease such as BSE.

Preston Magistrates Court heard that inspectors first visited the farm in March 2013 after receiving a complaint about conditions at the farm.

Nick McNamara, prosecuting for Lancashire Trading Standards, told the court that officials found animals in pens with access to unidentifiable scraps of meat.

The farmyard was littered with tins of “Indian vegetable-type food” which was past its best-before date, while unlabelled dry feed was found in the back of a pick-up truck.

Mr Nelson, described as a “small-scale keeper of livestock”, was unable to produce records of where he bought the products.

Farm crueltyThe inspectors were so concerned they suspended the inspection to call in specialists from the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

When the inspection resumed, officials found raw meat and bones in the sheep pen and ring feeder, as well as carcasses including a horned sheep, the face of which had been eaten away.

Mr Nelson was issued with an immediate standstill notice to prevent him from moving any live animals on or off the farm. He was also ordered to immediately remove the carcasses.

During two further inspections six days later, inspectors found more animals, Mr McNamara added.

“Many of the carcasses found on Mr Nelson’s land had been there for some length of time, given their severely decomposed condition,” he said.

“And it stands to reason that somebody on the farm knew there were carcasses about, given some of the crude attempts to conceal them beneath rubbish, in bags and, in the case of two animals, in wheelie bins.”

Mr Nelson admitted seven contraventions of disease control measures.

Defending, Angela Rossi said the offences happened at a time when the farmer was suffering from ill health.

“Six months earlier, Defra had visited and said everything was OK, so something got out of hand in a short space of time,” she said.

The chairman of the magistrates bench said Mr Nelson had caused an obvious risk to the environment and disregard to other animals health.

He will be sentenced on 3 September.

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